2 of 3




3 of 3


as in disruption
an act or instance of the order of things being disturbed the move to a new town is just the latest in a series of upsets for my family over the last year

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb upset contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of upset are agitate, discompose, disquiet, disturb, fluster, and perturb. While all these words mean "to destroy capacity for collected thought or decisive action," upset implies the disturbance of normal or habitual functioning by disappointment, distress, or grief.

the family's constant bickering upsets the youngest child

When is it sensible to use agitate instead of upset?

While the synonyms agitate and upset are close in meaning, agitate suggests obvious external signs of nervous or emotional excitement.

in his agitated state we could see he was unable to work

In what contexts can discompose take the place of upset?

Although the words discompose and upset have much in common, discompose implies some degree of loss of self-control or self-confidence especially through emotional stress.

discomposed by the loss of his beloved wife

When can disquiet be used instead of upset?

The synonyms disquiet and upset are sometimes interchangeable, but disquiet suggests loss of sense of security or peace of mind.

the disquieting news of factories closing

When might disturb be a better fit than upset?

In some situations, the words disturb and upset are roughly equivalent. However, disturb implies interference with one's mental processes caused by worry, perplexity, or interruption.

the discrepancy in accounts disturbed me

When could fluster be used to replace upset?

The words fluster and upset are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, fluster suggests bewildered agitation.

his declaration of love completely flustered her

When would perturb be a good substitute for upset?

The meanings of perturb and upset largely overlap; however, perturb implies deep disturbance of mind and emotions.

perturbed by her husband's strange behavior

Thesaurus Entries Near upset

Cite this Entry

“Upset.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on upset

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