upset

verb
up·​set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset How to pronounce upset (audio) \
upset; upsetting

Definition of upset

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to thicken and shorten (something, such as a heated bar of iron) by hammering on the end : swage
2 : to force out of the usual upright, level, or proper position : overturn
3a : to trouble mentally or emotionally : disturb the poise of the news upset me
b : to throw into disorder
d : to defeat unexpectedly was upset in the primary
4 : to cause a physical disorder in specifically : to make somewhat ill spicy food upsets my stomach

intransitive verb

: to become overturned
upset the apple cart
: to disturb or overturn a natural or stable order

upset

noun
up·​set | \ ˈəp-ˌset How to pronounce upset (audio) \

Definition of upset (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an act of overturning : overturn
2a(1) : an act of throwing into disorder : derangement
(2) : a state of disorder : confusion
b : an unexpected defeat
3a : a minor physical disorder a stomach upset
b : an emotional disturbance went through a big upset after his father's death
4a : a part of a rod (such as the head on a bolt) that is upset
b : the expansion of a bullet on striking

upset

adjective
up·​set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset How to pronounce upset (audio) \

Definition of upset (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : emotionally disturbed or agitated was too upset to speak to him
2 : affected with minor physicial disturbance or disorder an upset stomach

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from upset

Verb

upsetter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for upset

Verb

discompose, disquiet, disturb, perturb, agitate, upset, fluster mean to destroy capacity for collected thought or decisive action. discompose implies some degree of loss of self-control or self-confidence especially through emotional stress. discomposed by the loss of his beloved wife disquiet suggests loss of sense of security or peace of mind. the disquieting news of factories closing disturb implies interference with one's mental processes caused by worry, perplexity, or interruption. the discrepancy in accounts disturbed me perturb implies deep disturbance of mind and emotions. perturbed by her husband's strange behavior agitate suggests obvious external signs of nervous or emotional excitement. in his agitated state we could see he was unable to work upset implies the disturbance of normal or habitual functioning by disappointment, distress, or grief. the family's constant bickering upsets the youngest child fluster suggests bewildered agitation. his declaration of love completely flustered her

Examples of upset in a Sentence

Verb That remark you made really upset me. Don't upset yourself over it. It upsets him that he can do nothing to help. A lot of people were upset by the court's decision. It upsets me to think I might never see him again. Spicy food upsets my stomach. Noun In a major upset, he took the gold medal. Her victory in the election was a big upset. Spicy foods can cause stomach upset. An emotional upset can affect your physical health. a period of emotional upset Adjective I was feeling upset by the whole experience. There's no point in getting all upset about it. I try not to let her make me upset. She was too upset to speak to him. I'm upset that you didn't call. I was so upset with him, I didn't call him for two weeks.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In January, he was booed into silence by Republicans upset over his support for temporary restrictions to guns for those deemed a danger. AZCentral.com, "Arizona becomes battleground in passionate, polarizing 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 The Indians have dealt with a backlash from fans upset over Chief Wahoo’s removal and the club is certain to hear more with the decision to change its name. Tom Withers, Anchorage Daily News, "Cleveland Indians changing name after 105 years," 14 Dec. 2020 Yet several Pittsburgh players were affronted, upset over an unexpected bye week which was foisted upon them while their open date in Week 8 vanished. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Steelers players strike wrong tone with complaints about postponed Thanksgiving game vs. Ravens," 25 Nov. 2020 Whitmer was the target of an October kidnapping plot by domestic terrorists upset over her earlier restrictions. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Nov. 13-19," 22 Nov. 2020 The University of Notre Dame announced a testing mandate after thousands of football fans, many without masks, stormed the field in South Bend, Ind., and threw parties to celebrate a double-overtime upset over Clemson this month. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Pfizer, partner ask FDA for green light on vaccine," 21 Nov. 2020 The University of Notre Dame announced a testing mandate after thousands of football fans, many without masks, stormed the field in South Bend, Indiana, and threw parties to celebrate a double-overtime upset over Clemson this month. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Heading home for Thanksgiving? Get a coronavirus test, colleges say.," 20 Nov. 2020 The University of Notre Dame announced a testing mandate after thousands of football fans, many without masks, stormed the field in South Bend, Indiana, and threw parties to celebrate a double-overtime upset over Clemson this month. Lindsay Whitehurst, chicagotribune.com, "Heading home for the holiday? Get a virus test, colleges say," 20 Nov. 2020 The program came under fire by council members, upset over the growing cost of the program. Lorraine Longhi, The Arizona Republic, "A review of Scottsdale City Council candidate John Little's tenure as city manager, and why he was let go," 30 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun DePaul beat Western Illinois in its first game and let a potential upset get away at Providence on Sunday, losing in double OT. Dom Amore, courant.com, "‘It’s eerie, man:’ UConn men face DePaul as a season of masks, stoppages and empty arenas resumes," 29 Dec. 2020 Exploring the strikingly rapid transformation of Gwinnett County, the state’s largest suburban county, shows how this upset happened, while offering insights into the state’s upcoming U.S. Senate runoffs. James C. Cobb, Fortune, "Why a key Georgia country flipped from red to blue—and what it means for Democrats," 27 Dec. 2020 After his 26 points and eight three-pointers in Friday's upset vs. No. 4 Iowa, Brandon Johnson was mobbed by his teammates and even received a bear hug from Gophers coach Richard Pitino. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Gophers' Brandon Johnson doing well in injury recovery, and his shooting shows it," 27 Dec. 2020 Hurts won his first career start last week, replacing Carson Wentz and leading an upset over New Orleans. Barry Wilner, ajc, "A winner: Chiefs vs Saints, with Brees back to face Mahomes," 19 Dec. 2020 The Cowboys already benefited from one Week 15 upset. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Eyes on the prize: A win Sunday could drastically hurt Cowboys’ draft position," 19 Dec. 2020 The Wildcats were in position to pull a big upset as 16-point underdogs. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football vs. Northwestern for Big Ten championship: Game predictions," 18 Dec. 2020 Then along comes Rice, a 23-point underdog, and a 20-0 upset happened. Charles Hollis, al, "Count on fireworks, but Florida defense ain’t stopping No. 1 Tide," 18 Dec. 2020 And that includes last year’s impressive season-closing upset, which prevented New England from having home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: How do we get past the trauma caused by the Patriots? | Commentary," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Gomes, my umpteenth patient of the day, is an older woman — only slightly older than myself — who came to the emergency department with a cough, an upset stomach, and diarrhea. Jay Baruch, STAT, "As a doctor in the Covid-19 era, I’ve learned that judging patients’ decisions comes easier than it should," 31 Dec. 2020 At the Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown, W.Va., Betty Shannon, 81, said some fellow residents had an upset stomach after becoming some of the nation’s first seniors to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. New York Times, "What the Vaccine Side Effects Feel Like, According to Those Who’ve Gotten It," 28 Dec. 2020 If your dog has an upset stomach, your veterinarian can prescribe nausea relief medication or an appetite stimulant. Star Tribune, "How to encourage a sick dog to eat," 25 Dec. 2020 This included people with mild gut issues, such as bloating and occasional upset stomach, as well as those experiencing more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. Sian Babish, chicagotribune.com, "Seed Probiotics review: Can this shelf-stable probiotic subscription improve gut function?," 7 Nov. 2020 Food allergies affect over five million children in the United States and can range from minor reactions like an upset stomach to life-threatening conditions. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "Allergic Reactions to Peanuts and Tree Nuts Spike 85 Percent on Halloween," 29 Oct. 2020 About a week later, the officer started having symptoms of Covid-19: loss of smell and taste, muscle weakness, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, headache, loss of appetite and an upset stomach. NBC News, "CDC changes guidance on close contacts, emphasizes importance of wearing mask," 21 Oct. 2020 Early signs of methanol poisoning are rapid breathing and an upset stomach. Amy Martyn, oregonlive, "17 deaths related to methanol-spiked hand sanitizer but FDA limited in actions," 6 Oct. 2020 Dwight Eisenhower, pictured above after his 1955 heart attack that was initially presented as an upset stomach, was recovering from another emergency surgery when the Middle East exploded in the 1956 Suez crisis. National Geographic, "How did the U.S. operate in the past when its leader was sick?," 5 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upset.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of upset

Verb

1677, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1804, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1805, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about upset

Time Traveler for upset

Time Traveler

The first known use of upset was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Statistics for upset

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Upset.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upset. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for upset

upset

verb
How to pronounce upset (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of upset

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to make (someone) unhappy, worried, etc.
: to cause an unpleasant feeling in (your stomach)
: to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the expected way

upset

noun
How to pronounce upset (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of upset (Entry 2 of 3)

: an occurrence in which a game, contest, etc., is won by a person or team that was expected to lose
: an unpleasant feeling of illness in your stomach
: a period of worry and unhappiness caused by something that has happened

upset

adjective
How to pronounce upset (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of upset (Entry 3 of 3)

: angry or unhappy

upset

verb
up·​set | \ ˌəp-ˈset How to pronounce upset (audio) \
upset; upsetting

Kids Definition of upset

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to worry or make unhappy The bad news upset us all.
2 : to make somewhat ill Pizza upsets my stomach.
3 : to force or be forced out of the usual position : overturn Sit down before you upset the canoe.
4 : to cause confusion in Rain upset our plans.
5 : to defeat unexpectedly

upset

noun
up·​set | \ ˈəp-ˌset How to pronounce upset (audio) \

Kids Definition of upset (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an unexpected defeat
2 : a feeling of illness in the stomach
3 : a period of worry or unhappiness an emotional upset

upset

adjective
up·​set | \ ˌəp-ˈset How to pronounce upset (audio) \

Kids Definition of upset (Entry 3 of 3)

: emotionally disturbed or unhappy
up·​set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset How to pronounce upset (audio) \
upset; upsetting

Medical Definition of upset

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to trouble mentally or emotionally the news upset me
2 : to cause a physical disorder in specifically : to make somewhat ill greasy food upsets my stomach

upset

noun
up·​set | \ ˈəp-ˌset How to pronounce upset (audio) \

Medical Definition of upset (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a minor physical disorder a stomach upset
2 : an emotional disturbance

upset

adjective
up·​set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset How to pronounce upset (audio) \

Medical Definition of upset (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : affected with a minor physical disturbance an upset stomach
2 : emotionally disturbed or agitated was too upset to speak

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on upset

What made you want to look up upset? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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