verb (used without object), top·pled, top·pling.

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), top·pled, top·pling.

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 formsun·top·pled, adjective

Synonyms for topple Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for topple

Contemporary Examples of topple

Historical Examples of topple

  • 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
(intr) to lean precariously or totter
(tr) to overthrow; oust

Word Origin for topple

C16: frequentative of top 1 (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

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