up·​end | \ ˌəp-ˈend How to pronounce upend (audio) \
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 During the day Monday, more current and former GOP officials rebuked the effort to upend the election. Lisa Mascaro, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Trump says he’ll ‘fight like hell’ to hold on to presidency," 4 Jan. 2021 Its woes reflect a struggle for survival playing out across the European train industry, as the pandemic continues to upend the business of transportation. New York Times, "Who Takes the Eurostar? Almost No One, as the Pandemic Fuels a Rail Crisis," 21 Dec. 2020 The move is the latest effort by the nation’s second-largest school district to avoid penalizing students under increasing strain during the surging coronavirus emergency that continues to upend their education and worsen family hardships. Howard Blume Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Unified will not give Fs this semester and instead give students a second chance to pass," 14 Dec. 2020 The proposal, which must pass with a simple majority, comes amid great economic uncertainty for San Francisco, as the coronavirus continues to upend livelihoods and ravage the economy. Trisha Thadani, SFChronicle.com, "Opponents of S.F. real estate tax measure raise over $2 million. Here’s why," 1 Oct. 2020 For the past six months, outdoor living — and entertaining — has been a lifeline of sorts, providing some small semblance of normalcy as the novel coronavirus continues to upend our lives. Washington Post, "How to make the most of your outdoor space as the pandemic drags on into fall and winter," 30 Sep. 2020 The failure of this fictional Social Democracy is its insistence on a tidy narrative of progress — the revolutionary women instead agitate for the ruptures and discontinuities necessary to upend enduring systems. Yasmina Price, Vulture, "The Still-Burning Fire of Born in Flames," 3 Feb. 2021 The state became a focus of Trump’s unsuccessful efforts to upend Biden’s victory, with Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state refusing the then-president’s requests to decertify the election results. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, "Republicans in key battlegrounds push to tighten voting rules in wake of Trump's defeat," 31 Jan. 2021 The same is not necessarily true outside the city, where evictions could upend communities that have fewer rental protections and less assistance, tenant lawyers said. New York Times, "New York Halted Evictions. But What Happens When the Ban Ends?," 1 Jan. 2021

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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Statistics for upend

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Upend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upend. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce upend (audio) \
upended; upending

Kids Definition of upend

: to set, stand, or rise on end

More from Merriam-Webster on upend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upend

Nglish: Translation of upend for Spanish Speakers

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