upset

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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, to, 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, to, 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to, 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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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: to, upset
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Hsieh upset the 13th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-7(0), 6-2.
After a hot start, Marquette has faded, and the fifth-seeded Golden Eagles are ripe for an upset by No.
A No.12 seed might be more likely to win this year than in any other year because there technically doesn't even need to be an upset in order for it to happen.
Once in flight, Steve Green of the Aspen Flying Club (www.aspenflyingclub.com) told us that it's important to make upsets as real life as possible to show how they can develop.
provides upset recognition and recovery training in jet, turboprop and general aviation aircraft.
There was a major emotional backlash among those left behind, who went online to express feelings like: "I am so upset," "I'm in mourning," "This is a blow...very depressing," and some even threatening bodily harm to station execs!"
Only one lower division team landed the upset with League 1's Oldham the second team in a row to put three goals past Alex McLeish's Nottingham Forest.
My biggest upset is that surely OAPs should be looked after and re-housed before anyone else, or is there only me that is human?
I'm at Macclesfield for the visit of Owen Coyle (above) and Bolton - and they'll be hoping for an upset. There's usually one but I found it hard to pick one out because the gap is so difficult to overcome.
There was an upset at Wimbledon on Monday, as Tsvetana Pironkova took down Venus Williams to advance to the next round.
Eireannach, owned by Mohammed Mahran Jamsheer, trained by Fawzi Nass and ridden by Stephane Ladjadj, ended the run of upsets by beating Ejaab to win the race for imported horses.
Because Logmate collects alarm data in real time, it can be used to review the alarms that most likely triggered an upset, or it can be applied as an advisory tool during upset conditions.
No matter how angry I get with him, he just doesn't seem to understand how much his lying upsets me.
Adults and toddlers deal with upsets in different ways.