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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for topples
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The stock will go up, up, up, till it topples over on the lambs.

    Halsey & Co. H. K. Shackleford
  • We set her up, like she wants, and then she topples down and hollers.

    The Incubator Baby Ellis Parker Butler
  • When she rings in the morning she topples off and lands on the blankets.

  • Brandolin topples him over on the grass and hoists him up on his own shoulders.

  • This, as it approaches the shore, straightens up to the wall-fronted form, and then topples upon the land.

    Outlines of the Earth's History Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
  • Our back garden just topples right over into a ravine that ends up short on the shore.

    Kit of Greenacre Farm

    Izola Forrester
  • A bundle of sloppy parsley slips from the hawker's cart and topples over the wheel in driblets.

    Auld Licht Idylls

    J. M. Barrie
British Dictionary definitions for topples


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 topples



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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