turn (someone or something) upside down

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turn (someone or something) upside down

1. Literally, to physically invert someone or something. I can't go on those roller coasters that turn you upside down—they make me so nauseous.
2. To carefully examine or search a particular place (often creating a mess in the process). Can you believe I turned the entire house upside down looking for an invitation that was on my refrigerator the whole time?
3. To affect or alter one's outlook, circumstances, or lifestyle, usually negatively. Being rejected by the university that was my top choice turned my whole world upside down. Lena was turned upside down when her mom died, and it took a long time for her to find her way again.
4. To cause or introduce significant changes to something, often as a way of attempting to improve it or change its course. This method of filing is so inefficient that I think it's time to turn the whole process upside down.
See also: down, turn, upside
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

turn a place upside down

Fig. to search a place thoroughly. The cops turned the whole house upside down but never found the gun. I had to turn the place upside down to find my car keys.
See also: down, place, turn, upside

turn someone or something upside down

 
1. Lit. to invert someone or something. The wrestler turned his opponent upside down and dropped him on his head. I turned the bottle upside down, trying to get the last drop out.
2. Fig. to upset someone or something; to thoroughly confuse someone or something. The whole business turned me upside down. It'll take days to recover.
See also: down, turn, upside

turn something upside down

Fig. to throw things all about in a thorough search for someone or something. We turned this place upside down, looking for the lost ring. Please don't turn everything upside down, looking for your book.
See also: down, turn, upside
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

turn upside down

Put in disorder, mix or mess up, as in He turned the whole house upside down looking for his checkbook. This metaphoric phrase transfers literally inverting something so that the upper part becomes the lower (or vice versa) to throwing into disorder or confusion. [First half of 1800s]
See also: down, turn, upside
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

turn someone upside down

tv. to upset someone; to confuse someone. The events of the week turned us both upside down.
See also: down, someone, turn, upside

turn something upside down

tv. to search a place or thing. We turned his place upside down but never found the gun.
See also: down, something, turn, upside
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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