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.


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

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

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