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 physical disturbance or disorder an upset stomach

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 Willcox, who upset Santa Cruz Valley and Mohave Valley River Valley, respectively, to get to this point. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2022 Editor's note: This story contains graphic content that may upset some readers. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 4 May 2022 In a move that probably upset some viewers, Tori was able to win individual immunity. cleveland, 20 Apr. 2022 Perennial state power Sheldon had upset St. Francis 6-4 in the semifinals to face off against the Matadors. Mitch Stephens, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Apr. 2022 On Saturday, the second-seeded Blue Devils will face No. 4 Arkansas, which upset top-seeded Gonzaga 74-68, with a spot in the Final Four on the line. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, 25 Mar. 2022 The 2000 team that upset top-seeded Stanford in the second round reached the Final Four. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2022 Julius’ all was enough for the Islanders, who upset No. 2 Lumen Christi on Friday. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Mar. 2022 Standing in the Tigers’ way is 10th-seeded Miami, which upset seventh-seeded USC on Friday afternoon, 68-66. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 18 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This year the winner, an 80-1 upset, stole all the headlines. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, 10 May 2022 After making last year's state semifinals following an upset of Sunrise Mountain, the Black Hawks struggled throughout the spring and finished the regular season with a 7-10 record. Drew Schott, The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2022 Winning just one game would have felt like a seismic upset for the Predators. Gentry Estes, USA TODAY, 10 May 2022 Marcos is already crafting a narrative just in case Robredo pulls off an upset, said Julio Teehankee, a political scientist at the De La Salle University. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 The upset allowed Cremonese to climb back to second place and secure their return to Italy’s grandest soccer stage 26 years after last time. Daniele Proch, Forbes, 7 May 2022 At this distance, the gravitational attraction is small, and any upset could break up the three-star system. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 4 May 2022 The year was 2007 and Alabama - with first-year coach Nick Saban at the helm - had just lost a stunning 21-14 upset to Louisiana-Monroe, a 24 1/2-point underdog from the Sun Belt Conference. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 3 May 2022 An upset here is unlikely, as the Suns’ talent and experience should overwhelm the Pelicans. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective After all, why should audiences get upset about a character’s death if another version can show up at any moment? Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 May 2022 Your wife is upset about her weight — maybe concerned about her own health — and that’s where the support comes in. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 8 May 2022 Doesn’t have to be an NCAA athlete to get upset about this, obviously. Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, 4 May 2022 Aubrey was upset about being excluded from the document and made several threats against his mother, according to local reports. Fox News, 28 Apr. 2022 Members, Hart said, are also upset about a lack of information. Russell Flannery, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Unlike at Lucky Robot, Miller says no diner has ever gotten upset about what isn’t on the menu. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, 22 Apr. 2022 Although Romania has gotten upset about such linguistic rebranding, according to Article 13 of the Moldovan Constitution, the country’s official language is Moldovan, and not Romanian. Joshua Holzer, The Conversation, 18 Apr. 2022 There was a similar controversy in Cedarburg last summer, when parents became upset about the removal of a LGBTQ+ mural from Webster Middle School. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About upset

Dictionary Entries Near upset

upsend

upset

upset butt welding

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for upset

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Upset.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upset. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for upset

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

upset

transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on upset

Nglish: Translation of upset for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upset for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!