turn (something) upside down

Definition of turn (something) upside down

1 :to turn (something) so that the top is at the bottom and the bottom is at the top
  • To remove the plant, turn the pot upside down and tap gently on the bottom to loosen it.
2 informal :to make (something) very untidy
  • I turned the room upside down looking for my car keys.
  • The house was turned upside down while the renovations were under way.
often used figuratively
  • His whole world was turned upside down when his mother died.

Word by Word Definitions

turn play
  1. : to cause to move around an axis or a center : make rotate or revolve

  2. : to cause to move around so as to effect a desired end (as of locking, opening, or shutting)

  3. : to affect or alter the functioning of (something, such as a mechanical device) or the level of (something, such as sound) by such movement

  1. : the action or an act of turning about a center or axis : revolution, rotation

  2. : any of various rotating or pivoting movements in dancing or gymnastics

  3. : the action or an act of giving or taking a different direction : change of course or posture : such as

something play
  1. : some indeterminate or unspecified thing

  2. : some indeterminate amount more than a specified number

  3. : a person or thing of consequence

  1. : in some degree : somewhat

  2. used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective

upside play
  1. : an upward trend (as of prices)

  2. : a positive aspect

  3. : promise, potential

  1. : up on or against the side of

down play
  1. : toward or in a lower physical position

  2. : to a lying or sitting position

  3. : toward or to the ground, floor, or bottom

  1. : down (see 1down) along, around, through, toward, in, into, or on

  1. : to cause to go or come down (see 1down) : such as

  2. : to cause to fall by or as if by shooting : bring down

  3. : consume

  1. : occupying a low position

  2. : directed or going downward

  3. : lower in price

  1. : descent, depression

  2. : an instance of putting down someone (such as an opponent in wrestling)

  3. : a complete play to advance the ball

  1. : an undulating usually treeless upland with sparse soil

  2. : a sheep of any breed originating in the downs of southern England

  1. : a covering of soft fluffy feathers

  2. : something soft and fluffy like down

  1. : down syndrome


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