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1. adjective Literally, inverted vertically; having the topmost part oriented or pointing at the bottom. Hyphenated if used before a noun. Emergency services found the car upside down on the road. Someone left an upside-down refrigerator on the side of the road.
2. adjective In a state of utter chaos, confusion, or disorder. Hyphenated if used before a noun. Sometimes I worry about bringing children into this upside-down world of ours. The entire continent has been left upside down as a result of this war.
3. adjective Having or incurring more debt than someone or something is worth or earning. Hyphenated if used before a noun. The collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market meant that millions of people have been left with upside-down properties that are all but worthless compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars they owe for their mortgage. The entire economy has been upside down for the last five years, yet the politicians act as though everything is fine.
4. adverb In or into a physically inverted position or orientation. I had to turn the bottle upside down to get the very last bit of shampoo.
5. adverb In or into a chaotic, confused, or disordered state or manner. My life has been turned upside down since having kids.
6. adverb In or into a drastically new or changed state or manner. The new CEO turned the company completely upside down in an attempt to bring it back into profitability.
7. adverb Very thoroughly. Federal agents searched the offices upside down for any evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. in a financial state such that one owes more money on a car, truck, house, etc., than its resale value. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) When I tried to trade in the car, I found that I was upside-down and couldn't close the deal without more money. I took a loan period that was too long and was upside-down in two years.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.