topsy-turvy

[ top-see-tur-vee ]
/ ˈtɒp siˈtɜr vi /

adverb

adjective

turned upside down; inverted; reversed: a topsy-turvy reflection.
confused or disorderly: a topsy-turvy classroom.

noun, plural top·sy-tur·vies.

inversion of the natural order.
a state of confusion or disorder.

Origin of topsy-turvy

1520–30; perhaps variant of top syd turvye topside down (with loss of d before t); turvy, variant of tervy, equivalent to obsolete terve to turn over (cognate with Old High German zerben) + -y1

Related forms

top·sy-tur·vi·ly, adverbtop·sy·tur·vi·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for topsy-turvy

British Dictionary definitions for topsy-turvy

topsy-turvy

/ (ˈtɒpsɪˈtɜːvɪ) /

adjective

upside down
in a state of confusion

adverb

in a topsy-turvy manner

noun

a topsy-turvy state

Word Origin for topsy-turvy

C16: probably from tops, plural of top 1 + obsolete tervy to turn upside down; perhaps related to Old English tearflian to roll over
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