Definition of upset the apple cart in English:

upset the apple cart


  • Spoil a plan or disturb the status quo.

    • ‘Once upon a time, books were meant to upset the apple cart, to make politicians nervous, threaten the status quo, shake up our expectations, make us question things anew.’
    • ‘Land speculators and developers are the biggest donors to civic election campaigns, he explained, so he doubts many city councillors or prospective mayors will want to upset the apple cart between now and October.’
    • ‘Science is upsetting the apple cart, challenging long held notions related to life span and personality, undermining our cherished, traditional thoughts about ourselves.’
    • ‘And there's another reason people don't want to upset the apple cart.’
    • ‘She is one of the most thoughtful judges on the court and is not afraid to upset the apple cart by doing the right thing.’
    • ‘‘I think it would be a shame to upset the apple cart,’ she added.’
    • ‘It is so lucrative for investment bankers, fund managers and brokers that none have any interest in upsetting the apple cart.’
    • ‘They were breaking with the status quo, upsetting the apple cart, taking part in a 60s style rebellion against the establishment.’
    • ‘Every one of the players currently in the Celtic squad are imbued with that ethic, and while a deluge of imports may lift morale, the drip-drip effect is less likely to upset the apple cart.’
    • ‘And, because I'm a contrarian at heart, I'll root for perverse storylines that will upset the apple cart and disturb the powers that be.’
    foil, frustrate, baulk, stand in the way of, forestall
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