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

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 The move also upends the race for what could be a decisive district in the battle for control at the Capitol. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Flagstaff GOP Rep. Bob Thorpe drops out of Senate race while Dems work to flip district," 24 Oct. 2019 Climate change is upending millions of people’s lives, yet few communities are seeing their crops and worldviews crumble quite like those that rely on indigenous weather forecasting. Peter Schwartzstein, National Geographic, "Indigenous farming practices failing as climate change disrupts seasons," 14 Oct. 2019 Ellington 33, Morgan 6: Nate Schneider rushed for three touchdowns and Ellington upended Morgan in a Pequot interdivision road game in Clinton. Staff Reports, courant.com, "High school football: Southington survives against Hall; Bristol Eastern, Ellington win," 6 Oct. 2019 Machine learning, for all its benevolent potential to detect cancers and create collision-proof self-driving cars, also threatens to upend our notions of what's visible and hidden. Wired, "Blind Spots in AI Just Might Help Protect Your Privacy," 2 Oct. 2019 Following a divorce from his wife Miranda (Sally Fields), Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) upends his whole life to take on the persona of Mrs. Doubfire, a British nanny, as a last-ditch effort to spend more time with his three children. Maia Efrem, refinery29.com, "The Movies That Get Fatherhood All Wrong — & The Ones That Get It Right," 15 June 2019 Rihanna is even upending the tradition fashion week calendar. Teen Vogue, "See Every Look From Rihanna’s Debut Fenty Collection," 23 May 2019 O’Brien wanted a residential neighborhood with about 8,000 units of housing, while Kelly wanted half that number, fearing too many residences would bring in newcomers who would upend the political dynamics of old Southie. Shirley Leung, BostonGlobe.com, "Can the new Suffolk Downs avoid the mistakes of the Seaport District?," 5 Sep. 2019 That’s almost exactly the percentage that agreed with the same statement in October 2015, when the presidential election was being upended by the anti-establishment message of then-candidate Donald Trump. NBC News, "'A deep and boiling anger': NBC/WSJ poll finds a pessimistic America despite current economic satisfaction," 25 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for upend

Time Traveler

The first known use of upend was in 1823

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Statistics for upend

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Upend.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upends. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for upend


How to pronounce upend (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on upend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upend

Spanish Central: Translation of upend

Nglish: Translation of upend for Spanish Speakers

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