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

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



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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 The tornadoes cut a 15-mile swath, and the equivalent of 201 acres of trees were toppled. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Dallas is a concrete jungle, but Janette Monear knows how to fix it," 24 May 2020 Stores have shut down across the globe, toppling some retailers into bankruptcy, including J.Crew, Neiman Marcus and JCPenney. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Sears' survival is in doubt," 20 May 2020 The Taliban controls or contests half of Afghanistan, more territory than any time since the group was toppled in 2001 following the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Jonathan Stearns,, "U.S. Defense Chief Signals Imminent Deal With Afghan Taliban," 18 May 2020 The Falcons just had too much for the upstart Packers, a team that toppled top-seed Dallas one week earlier. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: B.J. Raji takes it to the house and the Packers beat the Bears in the NFC title game," 9 May 2020 Then the kids take control of the camera: a title card that says MONSTER EL INFERNO is followed by shots of a plastic brown dinosaur toppling a ship and finally a miniature city. Leslie Jamison, The New York Review of Books, "Other Voices, Other Rooms," 29 Apr. 2020 Farther north in Charlotte, North Carolina, firefighters rescued a woman pinned in her apartment after high winds toppled a tree onto her home Monday morning. Mireya Villarreal, CBS News, "At least 33 killed as tornadoes rip through the South," 13 Apr. 2020 The complex is near the corner of Kemper Road and Montgomery Road, where the tornado devastated The Shops at Harper’s Point and Harper’s Stations, taking with it rooftops, storefronts and toppling telephone poles. The Enquirer,, "From the archives: 1999 tornado left 4 dead, homes destroyed," 9 Apr. 2020 Modern history records no instances of an epidemic toppling a government. Alex De Waal, The Conversation, "Don’t expect the coronavirus epidemic in the US to bring down President Trump," 18 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for topple

Time Traveler

The first known use of topple was in 1590

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Statistics for topple

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Topple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for topple


How to pronounce topple (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of topple

: to cause (something) to become unsteady and fall
: to remove (a government or a leader) from power
US : to win a victory over (someone or something) in a war, contest, etc.


top·​ple | \ ˈtä-pəl How to pronounce topple (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for topple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with topple

Spanish Central: Translation of topple

Nglish: Translation of topple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of topple for Arabic Speakers

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