Origin of upset

1300–50; Middle English: raised up; see up-, set


1 Upset, capsize, overturn imply a change from an upright or other stable position to a prostrate one. Upset is a familiar word, applied to simple, everyday actions: to upset a table, a glass of water. Capsize is applied especially to the upsetting of a boat or other vessel: to capsize a canoe. Overturn usually suggests violence in upsetting something supposedly stable: The earthquake overturned houses. All three are used figuratively, also: to upset the stock market; to capsize a plan; to overturn a government.
2 unnerve, disconcert, fluster.
5 depose, displace.
10 perturbation, disturbance.
11 mess.
15 disconcerted, agitated, perturbed, annoyed.


Example sentences from the Web for upset

British Dictionary definitions for upset


verb (ʌpˈsɛt) -sets, -setting or -set (mainly tr)

noun (ˈʌpˌsɛt)

adjective (ʌpˈsɛt)

Derived forms of upset

upsettable, adjective upsetter, noun upsetting, adjective upsettingly, adverb

Word Origin for upset

C14 (in the sense: to set up, erect; C19 in the sense: to overthrow); related to Middle High German ūfsetzen to put on, Middle Dutch opzetten