up·​end ˌəp-ˈend How to pronounce upend (audio)
upended; upending; upends

transitive verb

: to set or stand on end
: to affect to the point of being upset or flurried
a … literary shocker, designed to upend the credulous matronsWolcott Gibbs

intransitive verb

: to rise on an end

Examples of upend in a Sentence

He upended the bicycle to fix its flat tire. I upended the bucket to use as a stool. The security inspector upended my bag and dumped everything out. A giant wave upended the surfers. The midfielder was upended before he got the ball.
Recent Examples on the Web In all likelihood, then, the current crop of variants won’t upend our equilibrium. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 17 Sep. 2023 The ordeal, which ended with the Brazilian’s capture early Wednesday near a tractor store about 18 miles from the prison, upended the lives of area residents. Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2023 And yet, with UPI, the government upended expectations. Maju Kuruvilla, Fortune, 14 Sep. 2023 People are also primed to expect surprises from the virus, and each new variant brings with it unknowns: Will this one upend our lives again? Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2023 That leaves Decatur and Cullman to fight it out for the remaining spot - though upsets later in the season could upend this scenario. ... al, 12 Sep. 2023 Ongoing labor strikes have upended the TV season, but there are plenty of good new shows coming to air and streaming Hollywood has been in limbo these last few months. Nina Metz, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 An all-too-brief moment of logical thinking is upended the second the chugging guitar kicks back in. Jessica Gentile, Vulture, 8 Sep. 2023 Local developers and landowners, along with the city staff, argued tighter regulations would be too costly, would thwart development and upend the city’s housing and employment goals. Gwozniac, oregonlive, 1 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'upend.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of upend was in 1823

Dictionary Entries Near upend

Cite this Entry

“Upend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upend. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


up·​end ˌə-ˈpend How to pronounce upend (audio)
: to set, stand, or rise on end

More from Merriam-Webster on upend

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