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


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

In the park, the diverse flora includes the wild banana orchid ⁠— the national flower of the island ⁠— and a silk floss tree that toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Adrienne Jordan, USA TODAY, "5 things first-timers should do in Grand Cayman, from snorkeling with stingrays to bioluminescent kayaking," 9 July 2019 Low and Steady Wins the Race This one might seem obvious, but items that can topple or pieces with sharp corners are a big no-no with a munchkin running around. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "How to Babyproof Your Home Without Sacrificing Style," 9 July 2019 Helen McDonald and her sons help remove drink bottles from toppled shelving in coolers at Minit Shop in Ridgecrest after a 6.4 earthquake Thursday morning. Times Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, "PHOTOS: 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes rattle Southern California," 8 July 2019 The family disaster plan includes these tips and more for earthquakes: Before: Check home for potential hazards — things that can topple over and cause injury. Ramona Sentinel, "Strong quake prompts preparedness reminders from county," 5 July 2019 Video shows restaurant hit by earthquake Restaurant owner Jason Corona shared video of the quake toppling plates and breaking bar glasses at the Casa Corona restaurant in Ridgecrest. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Southern California - live updates," 4 July 2019 The Union City Department of Public Works truck toppled off the Palisade Avenue overpass onto Route 495 westbound shortly after 1 p.m., authorities said. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "Truck overturns at Lincoln Tunnel, snarling holiday traffic in New York and New Jersey," 3 July 2019 Barcelona Femeni have officially confirmed the return of Spain forward Jenni Hermoso to the club from Atletico Madrid, a signing the Catalans hope will help them topple their domestic rivals., "​Barcelona Femeni Confirm Re-Signing of Spain Forward Jenni Hermoso on 3-Year Contract," 3 July 2019 Ergo the Barmat scandal, otherwise known as the scandal that toppled the Weimar Republic. Rebecca Schuman, Longreads, "On Truth and Lying in the Extra German Sense," 20 June 2019

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

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for topple

The first known use of topple was in 1590

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More Definitions for topple



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

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

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