See more synonyms for upend on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to set on end, as a barrel or ship.
  2. to affect drastically or radically, as tastes, opinions, reputations, or systems.
  3. to defeat in competition, as in boxing or business.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become upended.
  2. to place the body back-end up, as a dabbling duck.

Origin of upend

First recorded in 1815–25; up- + end1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for upended

Contemporary Examples of upended

Historical Examples of upended

  • From the upended slit of mouth in that goggling face, came a scream.

    Wandl the Invader

    Raymond King Cummings

  • One of my arms was free and I struck with my fist at the gaping, upended mouth.

    Wandl the Invader

    Raymond King Cummings

  • They hung all askew, helplessly pinned, some broadside, some upended.

    Wandl the Invader

    Raymond King Cummings

  • Stephen haled his upended valise to the table and sat down to wait.


    James Joyce

  • But there sat Hugh, as square, as solid, and as incurious as an upended bale of cotton.

    Gideon's Band

    George W. Cable

British Dictionary definitions for upended


  1. to turn or set or become turned or set on end
  2. (tr) to affect or upset drastically
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 upended



1823, from up + end. Related: Upended; upending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper