upheaval

noun

up·​heav·​al ˌəp-ˈhē-vəl How to pronounce upheaval (audio)
(ˌ)ə-ˈpē-
1
: the action or an instance of upheaving especially of part of the earth's crust
2
: extreme agitation or disorder : radical change
also : an instance of this

Examples of upheaval in a Sentence

The civil rights movement marked a period of social upheaval in the U.S. the emotional upheaval of divorce a period of cultural and social upheavals The island was created by an upheaval of the ocean floor. The lake was formed by geologic upheaval.
Recent Examples on the Web The dramatic surge in unauthorized immigration in Biden’s first few years was spurred by major factors outside of the president’s control, such as the ebbing of the Covid-19 pandemic and upheaval in several Latin American countries. Andrew Prokop, Vox, 27 June 2024 Councilmember Omar Torres, whose district includes downtown, believes the delay has been detrimental to residents and merchants who are bearing the upheaval caused by the massive development. Ella Polak, The Mercury News, 19 June 2024 Although the total number of facilities that provide abortions in the United States hasn’t changed that much – only a couple dozen clinics have closed completely – the number of closures doesn’t always capture the upheaval. Deidre McPhillips, CNN, 19 June 2024 The industry survived the violent upheaval of 1948, and Palestinian citrus farmers got a boost when Egyptian authorities, then in control, declared the Gaza port a free-trade zone, opening further access to European markets. Tariq Kenney-Shawa, Washington Post, 17 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for upheaval 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'upheaval.' 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

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of upheaval was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near upheaval

Cite this Entry

“Upheaval.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upheaval. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

upheaval

noun
up·​heav·​al ˌəp-ˈhē-vəl How to pronounce upheaval (audio)
(ˌ)ə-ˈpē-
1
: the action or an instance of heaving or lifting up from beneath especially of part of the earth's crust
2
: an instance of violent disorder or change
emotional upheaval

More from Merriam-Webster on upheaval

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!