up·​end | \ˌəp-ˈend \
upended; upending; upends

Definition of upend 

transitive verb

1 : to set or stand on end also : overturn sense 1

2a : to affect to the point of being upset or flurried a … literary shocker, designed to upend the credulous matrons— Wolcott Gibbs

b : defeat, beat

intransitive verb

: to rise on an end

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Onboard are the #MSDstrong band of changemakers determined to encourage the youth vote and upend the mid-term elections. Tonya Alanez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Parkland tour event in Utah canceled amid security concerns," 13 July 2018 And Gingrich clearly had loftier ambitions than simply being elected House speaker in 1994 and upending Clinton’s presidency. Neil Swidey, BostonGlobe.com, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 Mathias Jorgensen picked up a yellow card for upending Griezmann on the break in the final act of the half. SI.com, "Denmark 0-0 France: Les Bleus Play Out World Cup's First Goalless Draw in Dire Denmark Tie," 26 June 2018 Apollo Robbins has made a career out of upending people’s perceptions. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The World’s Best Pickpocket Reviews The Ocean’s 8 Heist," 13 June 2018 Frustration with the most important defense alliance -- Trump has teased upending the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, which was created to counterbalance the Soviet Union and is one of the oldest and most important alliances the US takes part in. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "Trump's new world order," 11 June 2018 The recent flood upended Main Street, invading shops, ripping up roads and sidewalks and claiming the life of Maryland National Guard Sgt. Janene Holzberg, Howard County Times, "Shakespeare coming to the aid of Ellicott City in pair of benefit performances," 8 June 2018 Saudi Arabia and Russia could upend that forecast by boosting their own production. David Koenig, The Christian Science Monitor, "US expected to surpass Saudi Arabia, Russia as world's top oil producer," 12 July 2018 But had Colvert had resources, a successful appeal might have upended the EPO urine test, despite having been in use for 15 years. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "The Chris Froome Ruling Just Broke Anti-Doping," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upend.' 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 upend

1823, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near upend


updraft kiln






Statistics for upend

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for upend

The first known use of upend was in 1823

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More Definitions for upend



English Language Learners Definition of upend

: to cause (something) to be upside down : to turn (something) over

: to cause (someone) to fall down or be turned over


up·​end | \ˌəp-ˈend \
upended; upending

Kids Definition of upend

: to set, stand, or rise on end

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