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

The Nevada football kicker capped the Wolf Pack's comeback against Purdue with a game-winning, 56-yard field goal as time expired to upset the Boilermakers, 34-31, in Reno. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Nevada football kicker Brandon Talton put on scholarship after drilling game-winning FG vs. Purdue," 31 Aug. 2019 Mr Netanyahu wants to preserve his tough image, but is anxious not to upset Israeli voters on the eve of elections. The Economist, "New fronts open up in the conflict between Israel and Iran," 29 Aug. 2019 Montoya, a cook at the hotel near Long Beach Airport south of downtown Los Angeles, was said to be upset about issues with human resources and told a fellow employee about his anger and plans. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Disgruntled employee had arsenal of guns, threatened mass shooting at California hotel, police say," 22 Aug. 2019 The Sea Kings earned the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs and advanced to the final — only to be upset by No. Matt Szabo, Daily Pilot, "High School Football Preview: Expectations always high at Corona del Mar," 16 Aug. 2019 In order for the program to take the next step, Iowa State will have to figure out a way to upset the Big 12′s top teams. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 20 Iowa State pushes for three straight winning seasons," 4 Aug. 2019 Well, Alaska Airlines and its pricing department really doesn’t need a special reason to be upset with Delta. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "To find those fleeting, super-cheap ticket deals, check out hub cities where Alaska and Delta are sparring," 3 Aug. 2019 DoorDash and Amazon’s tip policies have continued to upset many customers who feel that the companies are misusing tip money and cheating their workers. Shirin Ghaffary, Vox, "Where your delivery app tips really go, explained," 24 July 2019 Trying to upset 22-6A’s applecart is one thing, trying to do the same in 21-6A is another. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Magazine belie ves little will change in 22-6A football battles," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Xavier opened the season with a 2-0 upset of third-ranked and powerhouse Akron. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati: The Touchline newsletter, Issue No. 6," 5 Sep. 2019 Missouri and Tennessee suffered embarrassing upsets. Christopher Smith, al, "Vegas releases Week 2 SEC betting lines," 1 Sep. 2019 Naomi Osaka defeating Serena Williams NHL – Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off what many thought impossible, an upset for the ages after a 7-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on in Game 4 of their best-of-7 series. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "ESPYS nominations: Kyler Murray, Diana Taurasi, Henry Cejudo, James Harden among nominees," 19 June 2019 Kawhi Leonard's hot hand is sending the Raptors home to Toronto on the cusp of a startling upset for Canada. CBS News, "NBA Finals: Raptors top Warriors 105-92 in Game 4, giving them 3-1 lead in series," 8 June 2019 Kawhi Leonard's hot hand is sending the Raptors home to Toronto on the cusp of a startling upset for Canada. Janie Mcauley, chicagotribune.com, "Raptors 1 win away from a title after beating the Warriors 105-92 behind Kawhi Leonard's 36 points," 8 June 2019 The state also appears narrowly set to send Republicans to the governor’s mansion and the US Senate — both major upsets for Democrats. German Lopez, Vox, "Would ex-felon voting rights have flipped Florida for Democrats? It’s possible.," 7 Nov. 2018 In a major upset for the Democratic Party establishment, Rep. Joe Crowley of New York lost his primary election Tuesday, unseated by a young progressive newcomer who reflects restiveness in the left wing of the party. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "Newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Unseats Incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in New York Primary," 26 June 2018 There was also the matter of people getting upset at Robbie Williams for his World Cup opener. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: So What Did Trump and Kim Jong-Un Agree on Anyway?," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The bruising trade tussle has roiled bourses and upset supply chains for over a year, hastening fears of a global recession. Charlie Campbell / Shanghai, Time, "Exclusive: New Study Says U.S. Can't Win the Trade War and Neither Can China," 6 Sep. 2019 During a psychological evaluation, Amatullo told Grounds that his upset with the brothers’ family was warranted. oregonlive, "Knife-wielding white man who yelled racist slurs at black kids gets 3 years in prison," 5 Sep. 2019 That would change if the Bears could pull off an upset this week. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "High school football: Week 2 predictions," 5 Sep. 2019 In one of the most powerful shots, Archie (K.J. Apa) embraces his mother, Mary (Molly Ringwald), who is visibly upset. Tim Stack, EW.com, "Riverdale releases emotional first images from Luke Perry tribute," 4 Sep. 2019 Baynes had 13 points and four boards in that upset to end a 78-game winning streak for the U.S. senior national team. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns: Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes start fast in FIBA World Cup," 2 Sep. 2019 Despite the signs of GOP concern, there are three reasons why a McCready victory would still be an upset: Bishop has a political base in a key part of the district. David Wasserman, NBC News, "Trump faces more 2020 danger if Democrat scores upset in N. Carolina special election," 31 Aug. 2019 According to the people familiar with the matter, Trump was upset that his aides hadn’t told him sooner that Westerhout had spoken to reporters at an off-the-record gathering. Josh Wingrove, chicagotribune.com, "Trump aide, his longtime Oval Office gatekeeper, resigns after off-record conversation with reporters," 30 Aug. 2019 But the fact that the rifle was even available as a prize made Chilton upset. oregonlive.com, "When the cheer club wanted to raffle an AM-15 semiauto rifle, this mom stepped in," 24 Aug. 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

7 Sep 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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