Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To cause to overturn; knock or tip over.
  • transitive verb To disturb the functioning, order, or course of: synonym: overthrow.
  • transitive verb To cause (the stomach) to feel ill.
  • transitive verb To distress or perturb mentally or emotionally.
  • transitive verb To defeat unexpectedly (an opponent favored to win).
  • transitive verb To make (a heated metal bolt, for example) shorter and thicker by hammering on the end.
  • noun The act of upsetting or the condition of being upset.
  • noun A disturbance, disorder, or state of agitation.
  • noun A condition of indigestion.
  • noun A game, contest, or election in which the favorite is defeated.
  • noun A tool used for upsetting; a swage.
  • noun An upset part or piece.
  • adjective Having been overturned.
  • adjective Exhibiting signs and symptoms of indigestion.
  • adjective In a state of emotional or mental distress; distraught.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of upsetting, overturning, or severely discomposing, or the state of being upset; an overturn: as, the carriage had an upset; the news gave me quite an upset.
  • To set or place up.
  • To overturn; overthrow; overset, as a boat or a carriage; hence, figuratively, to throw into confusion; interfere with; spoil: as, to upset one's plans.
  • To put out of the normal state; put in disorder; of persons, to discompose completely; make nervous or irritable; overcome.
  • To shorten and thicken by hammering, as a heated piece of metal set up endwise: said also of the shortening and resetting of the tire of a wheel.
  • To be overturned or upset.
  • noun See the extract.
  • Set up; fixed; determined.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To set up; to put upright.
  • transitive verb To thicken and shorten, as a heated piece of iron, by hammering on the end.
  • transitive verb To shorten (a tire) in the process of resetting, originally by cutting it and hammering on the ends.
  • transitive verb To overturn, overthrow, or overset
  • transitive verb colloq. To disturb the self-possession of; to disorder the nerves of; to make ill.
  • transitive verb (Basketwork) To turn upwards the outer ends of (stakes) so as to make a foundation for the side of a basket or the like; also, to form (the side) in this manner.
  • intransitive verb To become upset.
  • adjective Set up; fixed; determined; -- used chiefly or only in the phrase upset price; that is, the price fixed upon as the minimum for property offered in a public sale, or, in an auction, the price at which property is set up or started by the auctioneer, and the lowest price at which it will be sold.
  • noun The act of upsetting, or the state of being upset; an overturn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of a person Angry, distressed, or unhappy.
  • adjective Feeling unwell, nauseated, or ready to vomit.
  • noun uncountable Disturbance or disruption.
  • noun countable, sports An unexpected victory of a competitor that was not favored.
  • noun An overturn.
  • noun An upset stomach.
  • noun mathematics An upper set; a subset (X,≤) of a partially ordered set with the property that, if x is in U and x≤y, then y is in U.
  • verb transitive To make (a person) angry, distressed, or unhappy.
  • verb transitive To disturb, disrupt or adversely alter (something).
  • verb transitive To tip or overturn (something).
  • verb transitive To defeat unexpectedly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb form metals with a swage
  • noun a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning
  • verb disturb the balance or stability of

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English upsetten, to set up : up-, up- + setten, to set; see set.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, corresponding to up +‎ set.

Examples

  • Sherk was one of the big victories for Edgar as he made his way to the title upset victory over B.J.

    Yahoo! Sports

  • The DVD has a few roundtable discussions about the title, so I guess the title upset some folks.

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  • I wonder whether this upset is about something other than a desire to protect American sovereignty, for, as I have pointed out, that sovereignty is in no danger from the use of persuasive authority by foreign sources, any more than it is endangered by the citation to law reviews and learned treatises.

    Balkinization

  • I wonder whether this upset is about something other than a desire to protect American sovereignty, for, as I have pointed out, that sovereignty is in no danger from the use of persuasive authority by foreign sources, any more than it is endangered by the citation to law reviews and learned treatises.

    Balkinization

  • But to be coolly flouted, and to have all the work of a term upset by three wretched youngsters, who called themselves his affectionate young friends, was a drop too much in the bucket of the "spider's" humiliation.

    Follow My leader The Boys of Templeton

  • But the lesson of Massachusetts, and this unbelievable upset is that Barack Obama, his policy and politics are a drag on the party and that he does more harm than good, to the party and the country.

    Matthew Yglesias » Democratic Presidents’ Base Problem

  • You welcome for you freedom to spew total BS, But do not think a Vet will not drop you in the dirt in a heart beat. cause theres nothing gets a AMERICAN Vet. more upset is went pencil neck pin head cowards like your self try to play tough guy.

    Think Progress » Poll: Majority of Israelis find Obama ‘fair’ or ‘friendly.’

  • But not as many, I suspect, as will remain upset about the passage of health care legislation after statements such asthese.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Is Health-Care Reform Constitutional? 

  • Ravens praise cool, collected Flacco in upset of Titans - USATODAY. com

    Ravens praise cool, collected Flacco in upset of Titans

  • Ravens praise cool, collected Flacco in upset of Titans

    Ravens praise cool, collected Flacco in upset of Titans

Comments

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  • Original meaning seems quite opposed to current meaning.

    April 25, 2011

  • Artie tends to get this at times when something happens to Jim.

    October 3, 2012

  • The word set is also the past and presumably also the past participle of the verb set. So the word upset is also the past and presumably also the past participle of the verb upset.

    December 14, 2013