upset

verb
up·​set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset \
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 \

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 \

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

But there's really no reason at all for anyone to be upset about the number of poppies or the size, according to Joe Little, royal expert and managing editor of Majesty magazine. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "Why Meghan Markle Wore One Poppy During the Remembrance Day Service," 12 Nov. 2018 Its main focus will be on trying to upset favorite Spain and spoil its World Cup before heading home. Jenna West, SI.com, "How to Watch Spain vs. Morocco: World Cup Live Stream, TV Channel," 25 June 2018 All Maud wants for Christmas is peace and quiet, but problems intrude—in the form of people threatening to upset her orderly existence. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales to Warm a Cold Winter’s Night," 21 Dec. 2018 Can Switzerland, which hasn’t reached the quarterfinals of a major tournament since 1954, continue to upset the odds after ousting Belgium in group play? James Ellingworth, The Seattle Times, "UEFA Nations League a hit as positivity replaces skepticism," 21 Nov. 2018 The causes for a slow down start with a very erratic administration that is managing to upset every international leader and threaten every norm in the business arena. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Is a flattening yield curve a sign of a coming recession?," 6 July 2018 Despite catching a long go-ahead touchdown with less than five minutes remaining, archrival Clearview had answered back late to upset the Dragons in their final game of the 2017 season, depriving Zehner of a perfect career record in the rivalry. Ben Pope, Philly.com, "For Towson-bound Kevin Zehner, Taliaferro all-star game a sweet sendoff," 28 June 2018 Bode's forecast offers a gloomy outlook for horses running Saturday to upset Justify's Triple Crown bid in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "A Belmont Stakes forecast in Justify's favor — when it rains, he soars," 7 June 2018 The Merkley bill would do nothing to upset these authorities. Elizabeth Goitein, Fortune, "Congress Is About to Decide Whether to Give Trump More or Less Power to Expand Wars," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Getty ImagesKevin Winter In a surprising upset, Lady Gaga didn't win Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture at the 2019 Golden Globes for her role in A Star Is Born. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The Best After-Party Outfits at the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 In February 1948, a one-term New York state assemblyman named Leo Isacson won a special election for a seat representing the Bronx, in an upset that presaged Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s Democratic primary victory over incumbent Joe Crowley last summer. David Greenberg, WSJ, "Socialists Are No Strangers to Congress," 3 Jan. 2019 Win McNamee/Getty Images Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operative, has unseated Republican Rep. Dave Brat in a shocking upset for House conservatives, who have lost one of their stars. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Abigail Spanberger elected to US House of Representatives: a Democrat just ousted a Tea Party star," 7 Nov. 2018 Four years ago, Brat upended Eric Cantor, then House majority leader, in a huge upset. Mary Jordan, The Seattle Times, "Record number of women appear headed for Congress," 6 Nov. 2018 His endorsement has carried significant weight in several primary races this year, helping to oust Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina in a stunning upset and keeping Rep. Martha Roby's candidacy alive in Alabama. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Tibbetts slaying becomes immigration debate lightning rod; Trump in legal peril after Cohen deal?," 22 Aug. 2018 In the biggest upset on the men’s side thus far, Cilic fell to world No. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Five Thoughts From Day Four at Wimbledon," 5 July 2018 The collision course that had been viewed by many to be no more than the Rockets' quixotic obsession brought them to a Game 7 Monday at Toyota Center, their short-handed bid to eliminate the Warriors in a stunning upset coming up a half short. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Warriors blast Rockets in second half, force Game 7," 26 May 2018 Though Tesla, the owner of SolarCity, has been losing ground in the solar panel market-share game for years now, Sunrun's new upset shows just how far Tesla has pulled SolarCity back. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s SolarCity lost ground to Sunrun in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Therefore, parents are more likely to ignore bad behavior, and to 'give in' against their better judgment when their child gets upset. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Permissive Parenting? Experts Say This Parenting Style Fails Kids," 11 Dec. 2018 According to police, Eric McMillian, who previously worked for the city of Kennesaw, got upset when the restaurant employees charged him for extra cheese on his sandwich, WSB-TV reports. Fox News, "Georgia Subway customer impersonates cop, threatens to shoot employees over extra cheese charge," 27 Sep. 2018 For those who are upset about the sculpture loosing its prime location, no need to worry. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Tourist magnet ‘I Amsterdam’ sign has been removed," 6 Dec. 2018 Many fans are upset and confused, expressing their disappointment online. Temi Adebowale, Country Living, "'The Voice’ Contestant Cody Ray Raymond’s Shocking Exit Sparks Outrage Among Fans," 30 Oct. 2018 Feeling simply upset, which is still valid, is different than a trauma response. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "What You Should Know About Dating a Domestic Abuse Survivor," 26 Oct. 2018 This isn't too surprising as Hailey didn't look too happy or comforting when Justin was breaking down in the car a few days ago, upset about his ex's health. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber "Is Not Over" Selena Gomez Despite Being Married to Hailey Baldwin," 16 Oct. 2018 The next day, during the Testla tour, Amy's still upset. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Amy and Sheldon's Honeymoon Doesn't Go As Planned on 'The Big Bang Theory'," 24 Sep. 2018 Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, a Democrat from Queens, was upset that the commission looked at outside income. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "For State Legislators, Hefty Raises Come With Strings Attached," 11 Dec. 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

12 Jan 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 \
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 \

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 \

Kids Definition of upset (Entry 3 of 3)

: emotionally disturbed or unhappy
up·​set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset \
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 \

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 \

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

Comments on upset

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a complex dispute or argument

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