turn (someone or something) upside down

(redirected from turned upside down)

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

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

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

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
References in classic literature ?
The church had a slender-spired dome that rounded inward at its base, and looked like a turnip turned upside down, and the hackman seemed to be dressed in a long petticoat with out any hoops.
The servant brought back his tumbler turned upside down,* with an unfinished bit of nibbled sugar, and asked if anything more would be wanted.
But alas, the final week of that pleasant vacation was spoiled for Anne, by one of those impish happenings which are like a dream turned upside down.
In both cases the conditions of agriculture are firmly established; but among us now, when everything has been turned upside down and is only just taking shape, the question what form these conditions will take is the one question of importance in Russia," thought Levin.
But the creatures led their captives away from the rocks and the road, down the hill by a side path until they came before a low mountain of rock that looked like a huge bowl turned upside down. At the edge of this mountain was a deep gulf--so deep that when you looked into it there was nothing but blackness below.
The high partitions, leaning forward on their base, grew into a vaulted roof bearing the shape of an immense funnel turned upside down, the height being about five or six hundred yards.
If the map were turned upside down, showing the moon as we see her, the east would be to the left, and the west to the right, contrary to that which exists on terrestrial maps.
There were despatch boxes turned upside down, a sea of parchment and foolscap.
The landlord, who was of the fraternity, ran at once to fetch his staff of office and his sword, and ranged himself on the side of his comrades; the servants of Don Luis clustered round him, lest he should escape from them in the confusion; the barber, seeing the house turned upside down, once more laid hold of his pack-saddle and Sancho did the same; Don Quixote drew his sword and charged the officers; Don Luis cried out to his servants to leave him alone and go and help Don Quixote, and Cardenio and Don Fernando, who were supporting him; the curate was shouting at the top of his voice, the landlady was screaming, her daughter was wailing, Maritornes was weeping, Dorothea was aghast, Luscinda terror-stricken, and Dona Clara in a faint.
John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together.
The black dots grew larger as they advanced and although the light was dim Dorothy thought they looked like big kettles turned upside down. Just beyond this place a jumble of huge, jagged rocks lay scattered, rising to the mountains behind them.
This was perhaps a rich man for Mull; he would have scarce been thought so in the south; for it took all he had -- the whole house was turned upside down, and a neighbour brought under contribution, before he could scrape together twenty shillings in silver.
The system of rates was turned upside down; the flat rate, which can be profitably permitted in small cities only, was put in force in the large cities, and the message rate, which is applicable only to large cities, was put in force in small places.
Here Adeimantus interposed and said: To these statements, Socrates, no one can offer a reply; but when you talk in this way, a strange feeling passes over the minds of your hearers: They fancy that they are led astray a little at each step in the argument, owing to their own want of skill in asking and answering questions; these littles accumulate, and at the end of the discussion they are found to have sustained a mighty overthrow and all their former notions appear to be turned upside down. And as unskilful players of draughts are at last shut up by their more skilful adversaries and have no piece to move, so they too find themselves shut up at last; for they have nothing to say in this new game of which words are the counters; and yet all the time they are in the right.
In verses 28, 29, and 30 of the second portion of this discourse we meet with a doctrine which, at first sight, seems to be merely "le manoir a l'envers," indeed one English critic has actually said of Nietzsche, that "Thus Spake Zarathustra" is no more than a compendium of modern views and maxims turned upside down. Examining these heterodox pronouncements a little more closely, however, we may possibly perceive their truth.