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upside down

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.
See also: down, upside
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Pictures of the upside-down arch posted on social media has garnered mixed reactions from users.
Now Cliffe and her colleagues are looking at the sloths' upside-down circulatory systems.
A total of 100 invertible 4x3's were found, of which 41 are invertibly dense, revealing 14 different words when viewed normally and upside-down. Here are tyro examples:
SPLASH: The two seater Robin 2160 light aircraft upside-down in the River Derwent
When the photo circulated in Iran last week, some commentators criticized Najjar for sitting beside the upside-down flag without saying anything.
Previous observations of upside-down gliding have indicated that mucus is also secreted from the foot during this motion.
A WOMAN was left hanging upside-down, suspended by her seat belt, after her car overturned in Nuneaton yesterday.
If you want to get the this year's latest look, you can head for John Lewis (08456 049 049, where you'll pay pounds 75 for a 183cm upside-down tree.
Crump, The Upside-Down Year is an action-packed saga set in the late 1800's.
Speaking of Inversion, Adam Laufer, a student of Iyengar yoga for fifteen years and a teacher of his own unique brand of fun and challenging yoga for seven years, chose "Bat Pose." "Out of all the hundreds of yoga poses, it's hard to pick my favorite, but when I think of the one that gives me the most benefit and the one that I do just about everyday, I would have to say that it is Bat Pose." To do the pose, you hang upside-down in an inversion sling.
The epiphany for today happens when we find ourselves living prematurely upside-down.
FAIRGROUND thrillseekers were left hanging upside-down for over an hour last night after a rollercoaster ride got stuck in mid-air.
While many homeowners who receive a recorded mortgage default notice don't know what to do, real estate agents are now seeking advanced training on how to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by listing the "upside-down" property for sale and negotiating a discount or a short payoff on the mortgage with the lenders.
Painting the floor white and the ceiling gray, the artist "flipped" the gallery upside-down, extending the gesture so far as to install inverted potted plants.