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

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 Instead, there’s a viciousness in Michael that’s genuinely upsetting. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The new Halloween is a slasher movie with an actual message," 19 Oct. 2018 Problems and solutions The race has experienced recent protests by residents upset about the environmental impact the event has on Belle Isle. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Without Belle Isle, Grand Prix will have to leave metro Detroit," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Three not-so-outlandish upsets that could create confusion for the selection committee: 1. Ralph D. Russo, The Seattle Times, "Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan hold steady in CFP," 14 Nov. 2018 The men have had some upsets, too, but far fewer, and eight-time champion Roger Federer continued his easy progress through the draw by running his Wimbledon streak to 29 consecutive sets. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Serena Williams on the fast track to eighth Wimbledon title," 6 July 2018 The cellphone video, apparently shot by an employee upset about the family separations, was provided to attorney Michael Avenatti, a Trump critic, who first shared it with CBS News. Daniel González, azcentral, "The U.S. deported this mother to Guatemala. It kept her 6-year-old son.," 2 July 2018 But the pugnacious politician, remarkably robust at age 92, pulled off a stunning electoral upset on Wednesday, denying his former protege Najib Razak a third term as prime minister and ending the ruling National Front’s 60-year hold on power. Washington Post, "Ex-strongman seeks legacy as savior of Malaysia’s democracy," 12 May 2018 Maybe so, considering the way Jay Wright's team dismantled everyone in front of it in a tournament that was dripping with upsets, underdogs and parity. Mark Heim, AL.com, "Watch 'One Shining Moment' with Donte DiVincenzo, Sister Jean after Villanova destroys Michigan," 2 Apr. 2018 Area upsets Class 5A, District 3 was shaken with a pair of upsets in region quarterfinal matches Monday when No. J.c. Carnahan, OrlandoSentinel.com, "The First Academy pulls girls soccer district upset of Windermere Prep," 23 Jan. 2018 Since the first matches began on Monday, January 14, there have been multiple upsets, with several up-and-comers defeating more seasoned competitors. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2019 Australian Open, Including How to Watch," 16 Jan. 2019 The 2019 Golden Globes were full of surprising upsets, emotional speeches, and, of course, bold fashion choices. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Lady Gaga Meeting Rami Malek and More Amazing Golden Globes Moments You Missed," 7 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There’s no way around it: A lot of people on the right are very upset with Trump (and each other) right now. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Fox News demanded a government shutdown — and got one," 22 Dec. 2018 Although fans—including her coach, Kelly Clarkson—were thrilled that the pint-sized 16-year-old prevailed, some were upset with the results. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'The Voice' Sparks Backlash After Finalist Kennedy Holmes Places Fourth in Competition," 19 Dec. 2018 There may be room here for an upset from Colman, whose Queen Anne was a delirious heap of emotions. Lindsey Bahr, The Seattle Times, "AP Oscar predictions: What will win, what should win," 20 Feb. 2019 Fans were very quick to call him out, obviously upset by the content that Shawn was seemingly supporting. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Shawn Mendes Apologizes After Liking Transphobic Tweet," 5 Feb. 2019 Because so many amazing acts are being eliminated each week on America's Got Talent: The Champions, fans frequently get upset when their favorites leave the competition. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT: The Champions' Fans Are Livid With Last Night's Results and Golden Buzzer Pick Kechi Okwuchi," 29 Jan. 2019 Many students get upset talking about their education, frustration showing on their faces. Sarah Butrymowicz, Marie Claire, "Refugee Girls Want to Change the World. Will We Let Them?," 7 Jan. 2019 Some of Juul’s 1,500 employees were upset with the deal to sell out to Big Tobacco, given that Juul’s mission has been to lead people away from smoking traditional cigarettes. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Wealth managers and charities are looking forward to an IPO-rich 2019," 21 Dec. 2018 Don’t let fear that your friend will be upset stop you from seeking help. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "12 Ways to Show Up for a Friend With Bipolar Disorder," 20 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

9 Mar 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

Comments on upset

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