upset

verb
up·set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset \
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

c : invalidate

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 \

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 \

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

Many passengers are understandably upset, despite the airline's offer of a full refund and $130 travel voucher, reports The Telegraph. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Booking a 'Mistake Fare' Really Means," 22 June 2018 Zolk, the 2018 Daily Southtown Girls Soccer Coach of the Year, led the Thunderbolts to upset wins over Stagg in the Reavis Sectional final and Downers Grove North in the Andrew Supersectional. Steve Millar, Daily Southtown, "Andrew's Loren Zolk is the 2018 Daily Southtown Girls Soccer Coach of the Year," 13 June 2018 But heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, who died in 1946, is up for recognition of a different kind: A presidential pardon for the crime of upsetting white people. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick and Jack Johnson," 23 Apr. 2018 Politics in Spain have been upset by the Catalan separatist movement, and there’s been speculation that the Swiss could demand Falciani in return for pro-independence leaders who fled for Switzerland earlier this year. Bloomberg.com, "Powell Says Further Gradual Rate Hikes Best Promote Fed Goals," 6 Apr. 2018 The shooter at the headquarters of the online video giant, who was also a creator on the platform, was apparently upset by the new rules. Recode, "The shooting at YouTube HQ," 3 Apr. 2018 Gutierrez’s camp has speculated that the Uresti family is upset at Gutierrez for jumping into the race so early, and that Uresti’s candidacy is an effort to help Gallego by dividing the San Antonio-area vote. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Gutierrez, Gallego report wide fundraising lead in Senate District 19 race," 3 July 2018 Davies, reached two days later, was also whirling in delirium, since only minutes before, mighty Germany, the 2014 champ, had just fallen to South Korea in the game’s twilight moments, one of the great upsets in the sport’s history. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Men in Blazers: 'This is easily the greatest World Cup in the history of the entire universe'," 2 July 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old who upset 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., in Tuesday’s primary, gained a lot of attention for her call to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Immigration reform seems impossible now ... and forever?," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Today's Wimbledon lineup included Roger Federer taking on Kevin Anderson, a five-set thriller that ended with a stunning upset as Anderson beat Federer, the eight-time Wimbledon champion. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Pippa Middleton Just Wore the Perfect Summer Shirtdress to Wimbledon," 11 July 2018 From late goals to major upsets, the World Cup in Russia this year has had more than its usual share of excitement. Siobhan Morrin, Time, "Female Sports Reporters Are Blowing the Whistle on Sexist Behavior at the World Cup," 3 July 2018 While five-time champion Brazil was the favorite, several upsets have unleashed an anything-can-happen feeling. Beatrice Christofaro, The Seattle Times, "Joy, pain in Latin American giants after Brazil beats Mexico," 2 July 2018 With the undefeated, 9-0, Kansas City Chiefs coming to Paul Brown Stadium, Chad Johnson issued a guarantee his upstart Bengals would pull the upset. Paul Dehner Jr., Cincinnati.com, "The No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals play of the last 30 years: Peter Warrick's return upends KC," 5 July 2018 Mexico pulled off a huge upset in its first game of this year’s tournament, beating 2014 champions Germany 1-0. Beatrice Christofaro, The Seattle Times, "Joy, pain in Latin American giants after Brazil beats Mexico," 2 July 2018 Last night, 28-year-old political newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off a shocking upset and beat longtime incumbent Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional Cistrict’s Democratic primary. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "Here’s the Moment Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Realized She Won," 27 June 2018 Iceland performed surprisingly well, and even pulled off a shocking upset of England in the Round of 16. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "2018 World Cup: Iceland, Belgium among sleeper teams to watch," 12 June 2018 In the California governor’s race, state Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) is trying to pull an upset. Daily Pilot Staff, latimes.com, "Many eyes on Rohrabacher congressional seat as voters go to polls for primary races," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The visit was not announced in advance, and when an Afghan press report announced his arrival, Mr. Pompeo’s aides were upset. Gardiner Harris, New York Times, "On Brief Visit, Pompeo Says U.S. Is Afghanistan’s ‘Enduring Partner’," 9 July 2018 Trump in a 2011 deposition reportedly became upset when an attorney named Elizabeth Beck requested a break to pump breast milk for her three-month-old daughter. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The Trump administration made trade threats to Ecuador over … breastfeeding," 8 July 2018 Its not his to joke about, and parents who lost their children at the concert are upset. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Speaks Out About Pete Davidson's 2017 Manchester Bombing Joke," 6 July 2018 Instead, fans are upset after the Mirror reported a joke allegedly made by Davidson in late 2017 that appeared to make light of the Manchester bombing. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Why Is Everyone Slamming Pete Davidson For An Alleged Ariana Grande Joke?," 2 July 2018 Contreras said after Saturday’s game that Gibson was upset when the catcher didn’t thank him after granting a timeout request. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Joe Maddon defends Willson Contreras in Cubs' 'thank-you' controversy with umpire," 24 June 2018 My stepsister and her mom are upset because their young girls won’t be able to come. Houston Chronicle, "Secret history of molestation makes dad an ongoing threat," 15 June 2018 Was Hinsdale Central’s triumphant weekend an upset, or rather a sign that the times are changing? Gregg Voss, chicagotribune.com, "Multi-sport athletes among reasons lacrosse is thriving in Chicago's west suburbs," 11 July 2018 Francis was still upset, however, about how the incident was handled. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "TSA: We didn’t spill the cremated remains of A.J. Francis’s mother," 10 July 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

7 Sep 2018

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 \
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 \

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 \

Kids Definition of upset (Entry 3 of 3)

: emotionally disturbed or unhappy

up·set | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈset \
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 \

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 \

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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Comments on upset

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