top·​ple ˈtä-pəl How to pronounce topple (audio)
toppled; toppling ˈtä-p(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce topple (audio)

intransitive verb

: to fall from or as if from being top-heavy

transitive verb

: to cause to topple
: overthrow sense 2
topple a dictator

Examples of topple in a Sentence

The strong winds toppled many trees. The earthquake toppled the buildings. The tree toppled into the river. The rebels tried to topple the dictator. The phone company has toppled its local competition.
Recent Examples on the Web That was viewed as a non-starter for Israel, which wants to topple Hamas before ending the war. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 14 Feb. 2024 Pan set the stunning 46.80 seconds 100 meter freestyle swim in the leadoff leg of Team China’s gold medal-winning 4x100m relay event at the World Championships in Doha, toppling the previous world record of 46.86 held by Romanian teenager David Popovici. Andrew McNicol, CNN, 11 Feb. 2024 The federal government's lucrative reward for information comes two weeks after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the FBI had toppled the international ring, seizing its servers in California after more than a year of spying on the cybercriminals. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 8 Feb. 2024 The last time a large dock structure was blown off its moorings in Bethel Island was in January of 2021 when the New Life Marina docks — a five-minute drive from Anchor Marina — were toppled and crashed upside down on the levee at Taylor Slough. Judith Prieve, The Mercury News, 6 Feb. 2024 Smith continued, explaining that these allegations exposed how desperate the Truthers had become, further insinuating that other media clips—in which the president topples to the ground—were heavily doctored and likely the result of a foreign disinformation campaign. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 5 Feb. 2024 The sight of a sturdy tree toppled through a red-brick home in Sacramento’s core prompted residents walking by to shake their heads Monday and take pictures of the destruction. Ishani Desai, Sacramento Bee, 5 Feb. 2024 Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, briefly replaced Mubarak, until he, too, was toppled by Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who proved no more respectful of human rights. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2024 The 3-foot-high by 4-foot-wide stone was toppled over when the teen tried sitting on it, slipped and fell, Michael Boccuzzi, a spokesperson for the police department, told McClatchy News. Tanasia Kenney, Miami Herald, 24 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'topple.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


frequentative of top entry 3

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of topple was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near topple

Cite this Entry

“Topple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


top·​ple ˈtäp-əl How to pronounce topple (audio)
toppled; toppling -(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce topple (audio)
: to fall over from being too heavy at the top
: to push over

More from Merriam-Webster on topple

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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