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

If you might be upset by offensive material, please don’t read the final section of this column, at the bottom of the page. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1349: Not for every taste," 13 Sep. 2019 In fact, the second-year Bears coach thinks they should be upset about the string of mistakes that helped keep his offense from finding the end zone. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, "A rash of penalties and passing up a 51-yard field-goal attempt thwart the Bears’ efforts to rally in the 2nd half," 6 Sep. 2019 The costume upset another traveler; reportedly, fisticuffs resulted (subsequent reports cast doubts on some aspects of this story, and the line itself denies the clown outfit). Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Cruise Ship Etiquette Tips: A Primer For Before You Sail," 4 Sep. 2019 Whoever does end up getting the jackets, the choice will likely upset the rest of the moms. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "Why The Abby Lee Miller 'Dance Moms' Jackets Are Such A Big Deal," 14 Aug. 2019 More: Wednesday's order of play at Western & Southern Open: Kyrgios, Barty, Stephens, Nishikori More: Venus Williams upsets defending Western & Southern Open champion No. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "Roger Federer cruises into third round at the 2019 Western & Southern Open," 13 Aug. 2019 Those efforts upset a lot of Oxy shareholders who lost the ability to vote on the deal, contributing to Oxy's stock falling nearly 25 percent since the bidding war became public. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oxy completes $38B acquisition of Anadarko to close mega deal," 8 Aug. 2019 The day before, a woman apparently upset that her partner was looking at other women cursed and yelled repeatedly, then chased him away by slamming him in the head with her laptop. Dallas News, "Watch: Passenger refuses to give up seat that isn't is, woman bashes boyfriend with laptop on American Airlines flights," 24 July 2019 Georgia State has been in the news lately after a stunning Week 1 upset over Tennessee. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One interesting fact about each of the newcomers to the Green Bay Packers roster in 2019," 5 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Christmas period of 2011 provided two huge upsets. SI.com, "12 of the Biggest Giant Killings in Premier League History," 16 Sep. 2019 Klein Oak is ranked No. 8 in the Houston-area media poll but don't call this an upset. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Friday night highlights: North Shore rallies past Westfield," 13 Sep. 2019 But the Bengals were feisty in Seattle and nearly pulled off the upset as Andy Dalton threw for 418 yards in a 21-20 loss. BostonGlobe.com, "But for several teams with big expectations, Week 1 was kind of a dud.," 11 Sep. 2019 The top of the rankings remains mostly unchanged after the opening weekend brought few significant upsets. Mark Maske, courant.com, "NFL power rankings, Week 2: Antonio Brown will make Patriots next to unbeatable or ruin them," 10 Sep. 2019 In the June 2018 Republican primary, Sanford lost the race for his District 1 congressional seat to challenger Katie Arrington, who in a surprise upset was defeated in the general election by Democrat Joe Cunningham. Kirk Brown, USA TODAY, "Former SC Congressman Mark Sanford announces GOP presidential bid against Trump," 8 Sep. 2019 Catching Michigan between its two big rivalry games on senior day means the Hoosiers push Jim Harbaugh’s team to the wire again, but a monumental upset will wait for another season. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana football: Best- and worst-case scenario for 2019," 27 Aug. 2019 The upset of the Huskies was Oregon’s biggest win since the 2014 season. Iliana Limón Romero, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 12 Oregon pushes to shake up Pac-12," 13 Aug. 2019 The stunning upset was the result of years of practice. Author: Antonia Noori Farzan, Anchorage Daily News, "Chicago librarian dethrones record-shattering ‘Jeopardy!’ champ," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ramsey was upset that Marrone didn’t challenge DeAndre Hopkins’s first-down catch late in the first quarter of a 13-12 loss at Houston on Sunday. BostonGlobe.com, "Frank Reich reaffirms Colts' commitment to Adam Vinatieri," 17 Sep. 2019 Florida, which was 31-point favorites, needed Treon Harris connecting with Jake McGee on a 13-yard touchdown pass in overtime to avoid the upset and defeat FAU 20-14. Khobi Price, sun-sentinel.com, "Florida Atlantic adds Florida to its 2021 football schedule," 17 Sep. 2019 Nunez was visibly upset, and his teammate, righty Ryan Eades, returned the favor in the bottom half, plunking Jeimer Candelario, who also was displeased. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tyler Alexander stars as Detroit Tigers top Orioles, 5-2, in series finale," 16 Sep. 2019 But Klopp has hinted that Fabinho will actually start at Anfield against Steve Bruce's Newcastle United, who will be looking to cause another upset just weeks after their narrow win away at Tottenham. SI.com, "Jurgen Klopp Hints at Fabinho Availability After Arriving Back at Liverpool Late From Brazil Duty," 14 Sep. 2019 Relatives and friends gathered in Needy's apartment that afternoon, where a spokeswoman, who declined to give her name, said the family was too upset to talk about her. courier-journal.com, "Standard Gravure remembered: Here are all the victims from the 1989 mass shooting," 12 Sep. 2019 Michigan and nearly produced an upset before falling 24-21 in overtime. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers have a different challenge in Georgia Southern’s triple-option offense," 12 Sep. 2019 But Miller’s defense attorneys said Miller, upset over high-profile police brutality cases, got into an altercation with Baxter after seeing the officer harass people. Monivette Cordeiro, orlandosentinel.com, "Everett Miller trial: Jurors to deliberate fate of accused cop killer," 11 Sep. 2019 Two state legislators can be added to the chorus of Carroll countians upset that the Board of Commissioners voted to settle a lawsuit around legislative prayer. Jon Kelvey, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Maryland legislators lobby Carroll commissioners on prayer lawsuit; board to stick with decision to settle," 6 Sep. 2019

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

19 Oct 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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