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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So, even if your friend is visibly upset by news stories about what happened, keep in mind that this may be a part of their healing process. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How to Be There for Someone Who Survived a Horrible Trauma," 1 Apr. 2019 While the ratings seem to indicate that the show is doing okay, some fans — particularly those still upset over ABC firing Barr for her racist tweet – don't seem to think The Conners should go on. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here's When We'll Know if 'The Conners' Is Getting Canceled or if There'll Be a Season 2," 27 Nov. 2018 Of course, this seems a little bit below Kris (upsetting TWO of your daughters and doing it so publicly???). Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Tristan Thompson and Jordyn Woods' Cheating Scandal and Everything That Went Down," 22 Feb. 2019 Making matters worse, rising interest rates are upsetting the bond market and threatening to end the global economic growth party. Matthew Heimer, Fortune, "Here’s What the World’s Biggest Investor Thinks the Markets Will Do Next," 9 July 2018 Also upsetting to students is the policy of some colleges to factor in the amount of a renewable scholarship when doling out aid in subsequent years. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "Why Getting Too Many College Scholarships Can Actually be a Problem," 10 Feb. 2019 In the days since, dozens of world-class athletes have played through temperatures topping 100 degrees F, with major match upsets already making headlines. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2019 Australian Open, Including How to Watch," 16 Jan. 2019 As several people noted on Twitter, Pete’s upsetting note was peppered with hateful words from Instagram users — some even seeming to encourage him to self-harm. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Pete Davidson's Instagram Post About Mental Health Is a Reminder Not to Harass Celebs Online," 17 Dec. 2018 In the weeks following the incident, upsetting new details begin to emerge: None of the victims in the car was wearing a seatbelt. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 1: Fear," 4 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yang has observed that the only way to prevent more Trump-like electoral upsets in the future is to replace the income of people whose jobs that are being zapped up by automation (so everyone, basically). Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Everybody Running for President in 2020," 18 Jan. 2019 Harris, an openly gay Air Force veteran, had hoped to follow in the footsteps of other activist Democrats who have pulled off shocking upsets in this primary season. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Sen. Tom Carper projected to defeat left-wing challenger in Delaware Democratic primary," 6 Sep. 2018 Perhaps the biggest upset in a tournament filled with them already—four of the top eight seeds on the women's side lost in the first round, and three of the top 10 in the men's draw did as well—came courtesy of world No. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Djokovic, Nadal Advance at Wimbledon; Cilic Upset by Pella," 5 July 2018 And neither does Germany, the defending champion, after Mexico pieced together a stirring upset in the opening match for both sides. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "After handling South Korea, swaggering Mexico has legitimate shot to win World Cup," 23 June 2018 There were similar predictions of GOP doom in 2016, only for Trump to score a major upset in Pennsylvania. Jonathan Tamari, Philly.com, "After primaries, the GOP is all in on Trump," 15 June 2018 Tuesday's elections also yielded an upset in the coroner's race when challenger Jennifer Crawford ousted longtime incumbent Vicki DeGeus-Morris, a Republican who was first elected in 1990. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Women will form a majority of the Canyon County Commission as White, Van Beek win | Idaho Statesman," 16 May 2018 The 6-foot-2 Flynn had 24 points against the Aztecs in a 93-86 upset in the Wooden Legacy final last November, shooting 6 of 11 behind the 3-point arc. Mark Zeigler, sandiegouniontribune.com, "SDSU basketball lands coveted transfer guard from Pac-12," 7 May 2018 But with a flurry of upsets this season in the Pac 12, there has been an uptick in late nights with West Coast softball on the TV this spring. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Averaging two strikeouts per inning, Maddy Anderson leads the charge for Waukesha North," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Regular-season co-champion Kansas State was beaten by UC Irvine in the biggest first-round upset, and Big 12 Tournament champ Iowa State lost to No. Dave Skretta, The Seattle Times, "Big 12 a bust with early NCAA Tournament flameouts," 26 Mar. 2019 Last night's Oscars ended in a pretty major upset, as Green Book took the prize for Best Picture despite a slew of controversies that have surrounded the drama since its November release. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Spike Lee Is Not Happy About Green Book Winning Best Picture," 25 Feb. 2019 Throughout the entire episode, Reggie is upset, because now that Archie is back, Veronica is over Veggie. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who Shot Hiram? A Look at All of the Possible Suspects on "Riverdale"," 24 Jan. 2019 Sirisena won in 2015, and his upset victory was seen as a promising sign for Sri Lankan democracy. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Dueling prime ministers and assassination plots: an escalating crisis in Sri Lanka," 1 Nov. 2018 When Belgium scored an upset win Friday against Brazil, most streets in the center of Brussels and several other districts were filled with cheering fans and horn-honking cars. Quentin Ariès, Washington Post, "When Trump arrives in Belgium, everyone will be cheering. But not for him.," 9 July 2018 The two-term delegate scored an upset win over the veteran Conway in the in Democratic primary for the 43rd District seat. Michael Dresser, baltimoresun.com, "Mary Washington claims victory in Maryland Senate race against Joan Carter Conway," 6 July 2018 On Monday morning, the broadcast quickly goes from Sloane Stephens’s upset loss against Donna Vekic to Roger Federer’s first-round cruise, staying with the defending champion for a post-game interview. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "Wimbledon Embraces Technology and Tradition in Unique Way," 2 July 2018 Their romance bloomed after Wasserman wrote a poem about her upset 1965 U.S. Open win. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Married table tennis legends aiming for gold," 19 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for upset

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for upset

The first known use of upset was in 1677

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More Definitions for upset

upset

verb

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

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

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on upset

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upset

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upset

Spanish Central: Translation of upset

Nglish: Translation of upset for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upset for Arabic Speakers

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