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

Pureval has drawn national Democratic attention since scoring a major local upset in 2016 to become Hamilton County’s clerk of courts. Dan Sewell, The Seattle Times, "House race in southwest Ohio heats up in fiery forum," 16 Oct. 2018 He and Lehigh went on to upset Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament that season. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "C.J. McCollum recalls how being cut from Team USA was 'blessing in disguise'," 4 July 2018 He will be replaced by Republican Ling Ling Chang, whom Newman narrowly upset in 2016 to win the traditionally GOP seat. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "Here's what happened in the California primary election while you were sleeping," 6 June 2018 Joffray, the vice president of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, left that room with the rest of the New Orleans contingent in shock on May 20, 2014 when Minneapolis upset New Orleans in the voting to host the 2018 Super Bowl. Larry Holder, NOLA.com, "At the site of one defeat, New Orleans determined to secure Super Bowl 2024," 22 May 2018 But his comments Tuesday on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM are certain to be upset at least some Bulldogs fans. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "OU coach: Georgia's defense wouldn't be top five in nation if it played in Big 12," 3 July 2018 Izzett is understandably left crying and upset her sister sacrificed herself for Izzett and the ,ingdom, but the character Garvin (Finn Russell) reminds Izzett she's been given a new chance to live, free of the giant. Danny Atkinson, Courant Community, "Epoch Arts Opens Summer Season," 2 July 2018 The Oswego Village Board this week approved a controversial plan to convert parkland into an expansion of Pearce Cemetery, upsetting some residents who live near the park. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Oswego approves controversial plan to convert parkland into cemetery expansion," 20 June 2018 But an agreement with a U.S. company to improve connectivity would be a test for the Díaz-Canel administration and his power to make decisions is likely to upset hardline government leaders like Ramiro Valdés and José Ramón Machado Ventura. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "Google and Cuba close to finalizing agreement to expand internet access on the island," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Still, Kerri's name has been thrown around when talking about potential upsets. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See If Your 2018 Emmy Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 17 Sep. 2018 The congressman was endorsed by President Donald Trump and even thanked him on Tuesday night following the upset. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Republicans Are Already Coming for Andrew Gillum, Who Could Be Florida's First Black Governor," 29 Aug. 2018 Before the finals of September 8 and 9, expect to witness the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, a few unthinkable upsets, and likely some raucous behavior in the stands. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "How to Prepare for the U.S. Open? Let’s Ask a Pro," 27 Aug. 2018 One day later, Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a primary upset in New York, dramatically raising the profile of the ICE issue. Jeff Stein And David Weigel, chicagotribune.com, "Democrats ready 'Abolish ICE' legislation that would shutter agency, shift immigration law enforcement," 10 July 2018 But the upset will likely have much farther-ranging ramifications for the future of the party. NBC News, "Broken in two: Democrats divided after Rep. Crowley's defeat," 28 June 2018 One recent victory may point to an answer: On Tuesday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secured a shocking upset in the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "4 More Progressive Women’s Campaigns to Watch," 28 June 2018 Ocasio-Cortez beat Crowley, a top-ranking House Democrat and local powerbroker, in a stunning upset in a primary late last month. NBC News, "Still no concession call? Ocasio-Cortez, Crowley trade barbs in primary aftermath," 12 July 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former campaign organizer for Bernie Sanders, pulled off a stunning upset in New York City on Tuesday by defeating Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., a member of party leadership who was considered all but a shoo-in. Fox News, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez win stuns Democrats, puts new attention on Pelosi," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But after SandyRedd and Cody Ray went up against each other in the Battle Rounds, fans were upset Clarkson chose to save him over SandyRedd. Temi Adebowale, Country Living, "'The Voice’ Contestant Cody Ray Raymond’s Shocking Exit Sparks Outrage Among Fans," 30 Oct. 2018 The movie follows Blake, played by English actress Jessica Barden, who is upset with the lack of romance in her dating life. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Camila Mendes, Avan Jogia, and Hayley Law Are Starring in this New Movie Together," 20 Sep. 2018 Know where the nearest hospital is Young kids are prone to cuts, bumps, bruises, and upset tummies; older family members might have existing medical conditions, so bring along copies of any prescriptions. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Survive a Family Vacation," 20 July 2018 Even with all of the saving options, many folks are pretty upset with the online shop-a-thon. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "People Are Calling Amazon Prime Day 2018 a "Disaster" on Twitter and It's Getting Heated," 17 July 2018 Ball State is rebuilding, but IU fans still have scars from the Cardinals' 2012 upset in Bloomington. 26. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "Ranking Indiana's top 50 college football games in 2018," 11 July 2018 There was high blood pressure, sleep apnea, tension headaches, constant upset stomach and chronic back pain. Ryan Bergeron, CNN, "Wall Street worker trades in finance job to write young adult fiction," 15 June 2018 And on that note, fans are actually really upset about how the show has been treating Choni's relationship. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "This Hidden “Riverdale” Easter Egg About Cheryl and Toni’s Relationship Is SO Telling," 10 May 2018 Fans are most upset by the snub of star Kyle MacLachlan. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 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

16 Nov 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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