Definition of topsy-turvy in English:

topsy-turvy

adverb & adjective

  • 1Upside down.

    [as adverb] ‘the fairground ride turned riders topsy-turvy’
    • ‘But he also admitted that an excessively gung-ho attitude had cost that 2001 team dear, especially in that topsy-turvy Calcutta Test, when Australia lost seven wickets in the final session.’
    • ‘Everything is topsy-turvy: there is a Cadillac in the attic, the living are dead, wives are knives, crows are white, a joke walks into a bar.’
    • ‘In Weigel's topsy-turvy world, the bishops' main failing was not arrogance but its antithesis: passivity.’
    • ‘In her topsy-turvy upside down world she could clearly make out exactly where her body was supposed to be going but she misinterpreted it somewhere from perception to motion.’
    • ‘How would they know which way the lake lies, when most of the time - in this topsy-turvy capital, punctured by the tall green craters of half a dozen ancient volcanoes - they cannot even see the lake?’
    • ‘Probing the topsy-turvy jumble of wreckage, I spotted the parallel lines of tank tracks.’
    • ‘But the deeper effect of seeing the world from a different perspective, of calmly abiding in a topsy-turvy, upside-down world, may be the most profound benefit of all.’
    • ‘In other words, stop the Audrey-like intellectual flirtation and make yourself a sexual predator, since in this topsy-turvy world, promiscuity has become a virtue.’
    • ‘One of the topsy-turvy things about Australia is the way people rush to identify themselves as an underdog or a battler, the way in which being an outsider, a misfit, is the conservative, establishment position.’
    • ‘Well, Wolf, as you know, this has been a topsy-turvy race all the way along, one candidate's been up, one candidate's been down.’
    • ‘But for sheer drama in this topsy-turvy year, nothing beats the next 11 days as Democratic voters write their own dear-John letters.’
    • ‘Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of British politics, where success is rewarded with a relatively lowly salary, and failure is met with a succession of job offers, inducements and lavish speaking fees.’
    • ‘It just ‘happens’ and turns our lives topsy-turvy.’
    • ‘If you're living in a topsy-turvy world, try a pineapple upside-down cake, a fresh-berry baked custard, or a green tomato pie.’
    • ‘Not for the first time, I reflect on the topsy-turvy, upside-down parallel universe of India.’
    • ‘The dame, usually a man dressed as a woman and always the funniest character in any pantomime, harks back to ancient days when the mid-winter celebration was a topsy-turvy affair with lots of blowsy humour and surprises.’
    • ‘This is the topsy-turvy world of the mainstream media.’
    • ‘I t is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has become that to ask police officials about the illegal-alien crime problem feels like a gross faux pas, not done in polite company.’
    • ‘And when the Press Complaints Commission steps in to point out that not all politicians are ‘fair game’, it is fair to assume that you have tumbled into a topsy-turvy place.’
    • ‘The film is about an old couple who have this gorgeous son, and how after leading a happily married life their world suddenly turns topsy-turvy because of one incident.’
    upside down, wrong side up, head over heels, inverted, reversed, upset, backwards, vice versa
    upside down, wrong side up, head over heels, inverted, reversed, upset, backwards, vice versa
    upside down, wrong side up, head over heels, inverted, reversed, upset, backwards, vice versa
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 In a state of confusion.
      [as adjective] ‘the topsy-turvy months of the invasion’
      • ‘Ok, so life is topsy-turvy (even by my standards) at the moment.’
      • ‘Infotel's topsy-turvy legal odyssey is being stalled by complex questions about international jurisdiction.’
      • ‘Then of course came the drought and everything has been topsy-turvy, with some events threatened by the lack of rain and grass coverage on the playing fields.’
      • ‘Wondrous ethereal, soft comes along the third movement, as though exhausted from the topsy-turvy scherzo.’
      • ‘Last year was a topsy-turvy affair for my family.’
      • ‘The island is a topsy-turvy world, a magical and terrifying place where the voyagers' encounters are unpredictable, filled with treachery, danger and wonder.’
      • ‘It all converged one day during his topsy-turvy four-month ride as chief executive officer, when Upside magazine listed his company among the hot 100 firms in technology.’
      • ‘But by tomorrow I'll be working 8pm to 8am, and everything will become very topsy-turvy.’
      • ‘But Sarah's outlook remains optimistic and most importantly as balanced as it can be in the upside-down, topsy-turvy world of an actor.’
      • ‘In the current topsy-turvy climate, the organisers are still reliant on decent pitch and weather conditions, but are confident that the next four weeks will prove favourable.’
      • ‘For in today's topsy-turvy business world, defining core corporate purpose, even at the level of social chit-chat, has never offered a tougher challenge.’
      • ‘It's the kind of topsy-turvy world we inhabit in our sleep, but creating these unusual clothes has been anything but sweet dreams for the young designer.’
      • ‘And even though they now stand 11 points shy of fifth place with games running out, the topsy-turvy nature of Conference North means anything can yet happen.’
      • ‘The topsy-turvy nature of the Parliamentary debate on a Bill to limit the use of parental corporal punishment would make an excellent scenario for a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.’
      • ‘But it has been that kind of topsy-turvy election year.’
      • ‘And it just reminded me that no matter what else is happening, no matter how much you think your life is topsy-turvy, the world is moving on and in ways that are beautiful to see - if one could just stop and look for a moment.’
      • ‘A full-time career in the topsy-turvy world of film and television production is a very real possibility for her future.’
      • ‘In England, the politics of this issue are strangely topsy-turvy.’
      • ‘After a recent topsy-turvy spell (we live in interesting political times), the Civil Union Bill appears to be back on track.’
      • ‘Responding to the vast demand from readers for a place in the topsy-turvy school, these two books were written to demonstrate the challenges of attending a school with such a bizarre curriculum.’
      • ‘This topsy-turvy condition resulted in an expensive and chaotic quest for new artistic direction.’
      in disorder, disordered, disorderly, in confusion, confused, mixed up, in a muddle, muddled, in a jumble, jumbled, in chaos, chaotic, disorganized, messy, untidy, in disarray, in a mess, awry, askew, upside down, upset, disrupted, at sixes and sevens
      in disorder, disordered, disorderly, in confusion, confused, mixed up, in a muddle, muddled, in a jumble, jumbled, in chaos, chaotic, disorganized, messy, untidy, in disarray, in a mess, awry, askew, upside down, upset, disrupted, at sixes and sevens
      in disorder, disordered, disorderly, in confusion, confused, mixed up, in a muddle, muddled, in a jumble, jumbled, in chaos, chaotic, disorganized, messy, untidy, in disarray, in a mess, awry, askew, upside down, upset, disrupted, at sixes and sevens
      View synonyms

noun

  • [in singular] A state of utter confusion.

Origin

Early 16th century: a jingle apparently based on top and obsolete terve overturn.

Pronunciation:

topsy-turvy

/ˌtäpsēˈtərvē/