top·​ple | \ ˈtä-pəl \
toppled; toppling\ ˈtä-​p(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of topple

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for topple


fall, slip, stumble, trip, tumble


get up, rise, stand (up), uprise

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Few think debt is about to topple the world’s financial system or major economies. Aaron Kuriloff, WSJ, "Taking Stock of the World’s Debt," 27 Dec. 2018 But each arrived as an insurgent, skillfully lassoing populist fervor to topple establishment politicians. Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, "How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Other Progressives are Defining the Midterms," 15 Oct. 2018 As footage from the BBC shows, a small group of royal bridesmaids and pageboys were walking up the stairs of the church when the gusts caused one bridesmaid and one pageboy to topple over. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "Princess Charlotte and a Royal Pageboy Fell on the Way to Princess Eugenie's Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 Napoli are understood to see Meret as their first choice stopper moving forward, as Carlo Ancelotti plots his move to topple Juventus from their perch atop of the Italy's first division., "Napoli Announce Signing of Highly Rated Italian Shot Stopper Alex Meret From Udinese," 5 July 2018 Heloise takes a stand against the order and brings destruction to her home, and in the next installment, becomes the figurehead of a growing movement to oppose and topple the Order. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The activists see in the yellow vests a grass-roots movement that could hobble or even topple Mr. Macron, a strong supporter of Western institutions such as NATO and the European Union that Mr. Putin views as a threat. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "France Probes Any Moscow Role in Yellow-Vest Movement," 14 Dec. 2018 Bonnie Tsang Forget the giant coat rack that always topples over. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "10 Mudrooms That Are Actually The Opposite Of Embarrassing," 25 Oct. 2018 Fine Lines: Revisionists say sharp spikes (graph 1, above) mean bombs toppled the WTC. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report - The World Trade Center," 10 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'topple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of topple

1590, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for topple

frequentative of top entry 3

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Statistics for topple

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for topple

The first known use of topple was in 1590

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English Language Learners Definition of topple

: to cause (something) to become unsteady and fall

: to remove (a government or a leader) from power

: to win a victory over (someone or something) in a war, contest, etc.


top·​ple | \ ˈtä-pəl \
toppled; toppling

Kids Definition of topple

: to fall or cause to fall from an upright position When he pulled a book out, several others toppled to the floor.

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More from Merriam-Webster on topple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with topple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for topple

Spanish Central: Translation of topple

Nglish: Translation of topple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of topple for Arabic Speakers

Comments on topple

What made you want to look up topple? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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