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

Florida State clinched its spot after upsetting No. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville baseball to play Vanderbilt in first round of College World Series," 10 June 2019 After upsetting the No. 2 seed in the final, the match reset. Luke Feliciano, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati teen Jonathan Hill headed to Las Vegas for GameWorks eSports tournament," 9 June 2019 The Sun Devils found themselves in last year’s Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls after upsetting Michigan State, 16-13, at Tempe, but San Diego State knocked them out of both the following week. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Arizona State has favorable path into College Football Playoff poll," 7 June 2019 In the iconic race of his life, Lindy upset the talented field to win the Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter Dash at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. courant.com, "Lindy John Remigino," 14 July 2018 Arlington, the lone new team in the Top 20, jumps into the poll after upsetting Lexington. BostonGlobe.com, "High school baseball rankings," 7 May 2018 Would they be upset that their daughter was watching something with mature content? Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Are Teenagers Having As Much Sex as "Riverdale" Thinks They Are?," 16 May 2019 Many reporters and editors, especially at the local level, have stories of being confronted or harassed by a resident upset by something in the newspaper. Tim Arango, New York Times, "For Local Newspapers, Angry Readers Are a Given. But Killings Send Shivers.," 29 June 2018 For venue employees, Warnick later adds, there is also a power dynamic at play and the fear of upsetting a patron. Greta Moran, Teen Vogue, "The Culture of Sexual Harassment at Music Festivals Like Coachella Could Be Changing," 3 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Andy Ruiz stopped heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua with 1:33 left in the seventh round to pull off one of the most shocking upsets in boxing history. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, "Andy Ruiz Stuns Anthony Joshua to Win the Heavyweight Championship," 2 June 2019 And in a tournament full of upsets and surprises, Brazil is beginning to stamp itself as the dominant team. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Neymar tumbles and Mexico falls yet again in World Cup knockout round," 2 July 2018 No round of 16 upsets: In a tournament full of surprises, there doesn't seem to be any matchup where a spunky underdog would give a tense favorite a tough game. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Why Jeff Greer sees Croatia facing Brazil in the World Cup 2018 final," 29 June 2018 There are executives around the NBA who can’t help but conclude that being so close to a monumental upset had lingering effects on these Rockets. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Houston Rockets Have a Warriors Hangover," 12 Dec. 2018 Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional district in Queens on Tuesday, marking a monumental upset. Jillian Ruffo, PEOPLE.com, "Congressional Primary Victor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reveals Her Power Red Lipstick Shade," 27 June 2018 The 1-0 score stuck and Mexico claimed victory in a startling upset that quite possibly shook the earth. Time, "Mexico Fans Set Off Earthquake Sensors With Raucous World Cup Celebration," 18 June 2018 One of the biggest upsets from Monday night’s Emmys didn’t actually have anything to do with the awards show, but rather one of the commercials that aired during the primetime program. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Balvenie Scotch ad featuring Anthony Bourdain slammed as 'inappropriate' and 'unethical'," 18 Sep. 2018 The rash of upsets—repeat: ZERO top-10 seeds were in action today—opened the draw for Serena. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Five Thoughts From Four Women's Quarterfinals at Wimbledon," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Johnson was upset when the Browns signed Kareem Hunt, a favorite of General Manager John Dorsey. Terry Pluto, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Browns: Talkin’ Duke Johnson’s demand and the rise of Greedy Williams – Terry Pluto," 9 June 2019 Other media outlets reported that numerous players were upset about the encounter. Kyle Goon, Orange County Register, "Purple & Bold: Anthony Davis rumors are circling again. Here’s what’s changed.," 6 June 2019 David Blewett nearly pulled off an upset last month that would’ve shaken Dallas politics. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "Fight intensifies in second round of East Dallas City Council race between David Blewett, Philip Kingston," 6 June 2019 Some attendees seemed most upset by a torrential downpour on the second day that caused the cancellation of the conference’s golf tournament. Anjali Tsui, ProPublica, "How Payday Lenders Spent $1 Million at a Trump Resort — and Cashed In," 5 June 2019 An employee of a business in the 1400 block of Milwaukee Avenue told police July 2 that an intoxicated guest became upset and swore and yelled at employees. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Blotter: Wallets stolen from lockers in Glenview," 6 July 2018 My father would be so upset and disgusted that after all these years, all that he’s fought for has been taken in vain. Abigail Simon, Time, "The Supreme Court Finally Said Her Father Was Right About Japanese Internment. But Karen Korematsu Isn't Happy," 29 June 2018 During cross-examination by prosecutor Kimberly Gonzalez, the defendant became upset and at times covered his face, sobbed and would not look at the crime scene photographs, some of which showed Estrada in a fetal position in a pool of blood. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio man accused of stabbing boyfriend sobs after grisly photos shown," 22 June 2018 But Nix was upset and wanted to learn more, Mendoza said. Amy Bartner, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis CrossFit gym accused of LGBT discrimination closes, top CrossFit official fired," 7 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

15 Jun 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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