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[top-uh l] /ˈtɒp əl/
verb (used without object), toppled, toppling.
to fall forward, as from having too heavy a top; pitch; tumble down.
to lean over or jut, as if threatening to fall.
verb (used with object), toppled, toppling.
to cause to topple.
to overthrow, as from a position of authority:
to topple the king.
Origin of topple
1535-45; earlier top to tilt, topple (see tope1) + -le
Related forms
untoppled, adjective
4. defeat, vanquish, overcome, overpower. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for topple
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It will topple down; it will come to ruin; it will wreck everything.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • It had only to topple forward in order to plunge down the cañon wall.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • He lost his balance, threw up his hands and began to topple.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • The feather-dustery that had been a monument was about to topple into the weeds.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • To have got thus far, and then, by his own action, topple himself down!

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
British Dictionary definitions for topple


to tip over or cause to tip over, esp from a height
(intransitive) to lean precariously or totter
(transitive) to overthrow; oust
Word Origin
C16: frequentative of top1 (verb)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for topple

1580s, "tumble down," earlier "to tumble or roll about" (1540s), from top (v.) + frequentative suffix -le. Related: Toppled; toppling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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