upset


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to upset: upset stomach

I don't want to alarm you, but

A phrase used before sharing bad news (which is stated after "but"). I don't want to alarm you, but the printer called about a few problems with our latest issue. I don't want to alarm you, but the dog has been limping around all day—I think we need to take him to the vet tonight.
See also: alarm, but, want

I don't want to upset you, but

A phrase used before sharing bad news (which is stated after "but"). I don't want to upset you, but the printer called about a few problems with our latest issue. I don't want to upset you, but the dog has been limping around all day—I think we need to take him to the vet tonight.
See also: but, upset, want

upset (one's) applecart

To ruin or interfere with one's plans or goals. Look, he's not trying to upset your applecart or anything—he just needs to meet later in the day now, that's all. I had some ideas on how they could improve things, but I didn't want to upset their applecart this late in development.
See also: applecart, upset

upset (one's) plans

To ruin, thwart, or interfere with one's plans, intentions, or goals. These new regulations could upset our plans of expanding into the European market. I had always dreamed of moving to Japan to teach English, but the pregnancy upset my plans a bit.
See also: plan, upset

upset the applecart

To ruin or interfere with one's plans or goals. Look, he's not trying to upset the applecart—he just needs to meet later in the day now, that's all.
See also: applecart, upset

I don't want to alarm you, but

 and I don't want to upset you, but
an expression used to introduce bad or shocking news or gossip. Bill: I don't want to alarm you, but I see someone prowling around your car. Mary: Oh, goodness! I'll call the police! Bob: I don't want to upset you, but I have some bad news. Tom: Let me have it.
See also: alarm, but, want

upset someone's plans

Fig. to ruin someone's plans. I hope it doesn't upset your plans if I'm late for the meeting. No, it won't upset my plans at all.
See also: plan, upset

upset the apple cart

Fig. to mess up or ruin something. Tom really upset the apple cart by telling Mary the truth about Jane. I always knew he'd tell secrets and upset the apple cart.
See also: apple, cart, upset

upset the applecart

Spoil carefully laid plans, as in Now don't upset the applecart by revealing where we're going. This expression started out as upset the cart, used since Roman times to mean "spoil everything." The precise idiom dates from the late 1700s.
See also: applecart, upset

upset the applecart

If someone or something upsets the applecart, they do something which causes trouble or which spoils a satisfactory situation. It will only upset the applecart and confuse the issue if the topic is raised too soon. Note: You can also say that someone or something overturns the applecart. She still has the power to overturn the applecart by the sheer force of her personality and vocabulary.
See also: applecart, upset

upset the apple cart

wreck an advantageous project or disturb the status quo.
The use of a cart piled high with apples as a metaphor for a satisfactory but possibly precarious state of affairs is recorded in various expressions from the late 18th century onwards.
1996 Business Age The real test will be instability in China…Another Tiananmen Square could really upset the apple cart.
See also: apple, cart, upset

upset the/somebody’s ˈapple cart

(informal) do something that spoils a plan or stops the progress of something: Another, much cheaper hairdresser has opened next door, which has upset the apple cart.
See also: apple, cart, upset

upset the applecart, to

To ruin carefully laid plans. This metaphor, without the modifying “apple,” dates from Roman times. Both Plautus and Lucian used “You’ve upset the cart” to mean “You’ve spoiled everything.” Specifying “applecart” dates from the late eighteenth century, and the changed phrase is the one that survives. Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796) suggests that “applecart” stood for the human body, and that the phrase meant to throw a person down, but that interpretation was either mistaken or the particular symbolism died out.
See also: upset
References in periodicals archive ?
Because I don't see a 15 or 16 seed pulling off a first-round upset, I'm going with the next best thing: No.
This study, like the original INTERHEART trial, is observational and cannot prove that physical exertion and anger/emotion upset trigger a first heart attack.
No.2 seeds have been prone to upsets in recent years.
We saw a number of upset courses consisting of one hour of flight and one hour of ground school.
An upset Coral posted on Facebook: "Please, whoever it is that keeps taking April's pink bow off the railings by the clock please STOP.
provides upset recognition and recovery training in jet, turboprop and general aviation aircraft.
"If you are upset because my son won a seat during the elections, get upset if you wish.
CITATION: Haworth, P., Peterson, D., and Hayes, C., "Integrated Ball-Screw Based Upset Process for Index Head Rivets Used in Wing Panel Assembly," SAE Int.
It was just the latest in a series of Bradford cup upsets, and the manager now fancies another big name in today's fifth-round draw.
Among age groups, 35-44 year olds are the most upset by format change — 89% agree that a format change by a station they like upsets them and 55% agree strongly.
I see mothers like this on the bus and it's very upsetting to see the child becoming upset trying to get attention from its mother.
HOW upset Coun Watkin is about the posters put up on the borders of Scotland (Saturday, August 3) stating "home rule for England".
Summary: American qualifier Jamie Hampton upset former world number one Caroline Wozniacki 6-7 (8/10) 7-5, 6-3 ...