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

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 Were it to lever up to two times Ebitda, Altria could spend another $6 billion on top of its Cronos investment without upsetting investors. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Marijuana Won’t Keep Marlboro Man Buzzing," 7 Dec. 2018 Ocasio-Cortez — a democratic socialist who rose to fame after upsetting Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley earlier this year — easily won her race for New York’s 14th Congressional District on Tuesday, with over 75 percent of the vote. Li Zhou, Vox, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now the youngest woman elected to Congress," 7 Nov. 2018 Brat, meanwhile, won his seat by upsetting then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 GOP primary. Ken Thomas, The Seattle Times, "WHAT TO WATCH: After turbulent campaign, it’s up to voters," 7 Nov. 2018 Progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates with supporters at a victory party in the Bronx after upsetting incumbent Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley on June 26 in New York City. NBC News, "Broken in two: Democrats divided after Rep. Crowley's defeat," 28 June 2018 David Ragan upset with Bubba Wallace On Lap 36, Bubba Wallace, driving the No. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Ford dominates home track at Michigan International Speedway," 10 June 2018 The condition more commonly strikes women by upsetting the balance of chemical reactions in the body, causing health problems including obesity, joint pain and heart disease. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "What We Know About Kelly Clarkson's Thyroid Issue," 8 June 2018 Another factor is the expectation that EU rules and fear of upsetting markets will deter radical change. The Economist, "An Italian populist government looks likely, and risky," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The Mexicans would hold on to win the match, 1-0, defeating Germany — the defending World Cup champions — and recording one of the biggest upsets in Mexico's World Cup history. Author: Kirk Semple, Paulina Villegas, Anchorage Daily News, "Mexico’s World Cup defeat of Germany might have been earthshaking – literally," 18 June 2018 Courier Journal In one of the biggest upsets of the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series, Kentucky boys blistered Indiana 100-89 Friday night at Knights Hall. Kenzie Winstead, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky All-Star boys and girls basketball beat Indiana teams," 8 June 2018 Not one of the tens of millions of brackets submitted to online services predicted all of the upsets in this year's men's basketball tournament. Mark Vosburgh, cleveland.com, "Talk It Out: Is your NCAA Tournament bracket on the refrigerator, or in the trash?," 23 Mar. 2018 After a series of major upsets in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, not a single March Madness bracket remains un-busted. Flora Carr, Time, "Every March Madness Bracket Has Officially Been Busted," 19 Mar. 2018 And one of the most incredible upsets in sports history deserves some of the most incredulous reactions in internet history. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "NCAA tournament: UMBC pulls off a historic upset of Virginia, and the internet loses its mind," 17 Mar. 2018 Adam Lambert - On a show where playing it safe was often the best strategy, Lambert broke all the rules... and landed as the season 8 runner-up in one of the biggest upsets in show history. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "'American Idol,' Where Are They Now? From Jennifer Hudson to Sanjaya, Clay Aiken, Daughtry & Ruben Studdard," 9 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Or just a curse?I was really upset when people commodified the death of Anthony Bourdain. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Erin Lee Carr Remembers Her Late Father—And Finds Her Own Voice—In All That You Leave Behind," 9 Apr. 2019 The researchers believe this is because those in favor of remaining in the EU are upset with the outcome, and those who want to leave are unhappy with how politicians are handling the process. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Brexhaustion: Long, grinding Brexit is stressing people out," 12 Apr. 2019 Bohemian Rhapsody, which staged something of an upset at the Globes, was recognized again here, receiving seven nominations, and one win for it's star, Rami Malek. Vogue, "The Full List of 2019 BAFTA Winners," 10 Feb. 2019 After the news broke, former boyfriend Justin Bieber was also seen leaving Hillsong Church looking visibly upset. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez Breaks Her Silence To Thank Fans on Instagram After Year Of "Challenges"," 14 Jan. 2019 Since then, the police have cracked down on anyone walking a dog through a park and with that, the public has grown increasingly upset and calls for an off-leash dog park and a change in the park laws have grown louder. Jesse Wright, chicagotribune.com, "No quick decision on whether to allow dogs in La Grange parks, board president says," 10 July 2018 When asked about this on Wednesday, however, Pelosi’s allies did not seem particularly concerned, chalking up the upset in New York to an anomaly. Nash Jenkins, Time, "How Democrats in Congress Responded to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Surprise Win," 29 June 2018 Last year, an Atlanta restaurant was forced to apologize for promoting a Packers pep rally before the Falcons-Packers conference championship game after upset fans flooded their social media comments and wrote lots of negative Yelp reviews. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Steph Curry sweetly shows support for Ayesha’s restaurant after bad Yelp reviews," 21 June 2018 Regular-season co-champion Kansas State was beaten by UC Irvine in the biggest first-round upset, and Big 12 Tournament champ Iowa State lost to No. Dave Skretta, The Seattle Times, "Big 12 a bust with early NCAA Tournament flameouts," 26 Mar. 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

18 May 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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