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

b : defeat sense 3

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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

On Monday, a Texas teenager was killed when a powerful storm toppled a tree onto his tent at Bert Adams Scout Camp, near Covington, according to investigators. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "Teen’s death not first at local Boy Scout campground," 27 June 2018 Authorities are urging everyone to exercise caution today after high winds toppled a tree in South Lyon, injuring a postal worker. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "High winds snap tree, injuring postal worker in South Lyon," 4 May 2018 The law was a response to the 2008 financial crisis that felled hundreds of banks and large financial companies, nearly toppling some of the largest U.S. financial institutions, including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. Erica Werner And Damian Paletta, idahostatesman, "10 years after the Great Recession, Idaho’s Crapo helps roll back banking rules | Idaho Statesman," 5 Mar. 2018 The 61-year-old Lasseter, easily recognizable for his bright Hawaiian shirts, is the highest-ranking Hollywood executive to be toppled in the wake of the #MeToo movement that followed Harvey Weinstein's downfall in October. CBS News, "John Lasseter, Pixar co-founder, to leave Disney at end of year," 8 June 2018 National Park Service On Monday, the U.S. Forest Service warned of the threat of trees toppling in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "5-mile stretch of Blue Ridge Parkway closed after heavy rains cause cracks to emerge," 5 June 2018 According to experts, the flurry of activities surrounding Marx's anniversary wasn't really about furthering the philosopher's goal of toppling capitalism through workers' revolutions -- or the abolition of private property. Steven Jiang, CNN, "At the height of his power, China's Xi Jinping moves to embrace Marxism," 17 May 2018 Already, several dozen Democrats voted earlier this year to advance an impeachment resolution against Mr. Trump, and public opinion polls show the idea of toppling the president is hugely popular with Democratic voters. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Congressional Candidates, Not Mueller, Could Decide Trump’s Future," 17 May 2018 Hamilton freshman Patrick Baldwin, whose Chargers reached the Division 1 state semifinal and came within a final shot of toppling eventual champ Oshkosh North, was named honorable mention in Division 1. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Herro, Diener, Basile, Cartier, Gentry named unanimous All-State selections," 19 Mar. 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

2 Nov 2018

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

: 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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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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