Definition of topsy-turvy in English:

topsy-turvy

adjective & adverb

  • 1Upside down.

    as adverb ‘the fairground ride turned riders topsy-turvy’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not for the first time, I reflect on the topsy-turvy, upside-down parallel universe of India.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is the topsy-turvy world of the mainstream media.’
    • ‘In Weigel's topsy-turvy world, the bishops' main failing was not arrogance but its antithesis: passivity.’
    • ‘But for sheer drama in this topsy-turvy year, nothing beats the next 11 days as Democratic voters write their own dear-John letters.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Probing the topsy-turvy jumble of wreckage, I spotted the parallel lines of tank tracks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘It just ‘happens’ and turns our lives topsy-turvy.’
    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’
      • ‘After a recent topsy-turvy spell (we live in interesting political times), the Civil Union Bill appears to be back on track.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Infotel's topsy-turvy legal odyssey is being stalled by complex questions about international jurisdiction.’
      • ‘The island is a topsy-turvy world, a magical and terrifying place where the voyagers' encounters are unpredictable, filled with treachery, danger and wonder.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Last year was a topsy-turvy affair for my family.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But by tomorrow I'll be working 8pm to 8am, and everything will become very topsy-turvy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But it has been that kind of topsy-turvy election year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This topsy-turvy condition resulted in an expensive and chaotic quest for new artistic direction.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In England, the politics of this issue are strangely topsy-turvy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ok, so life is topsy-turvy (even by my standards) at the moment.’
      • ‘A full-time career in the topsy-turvy world of film and television production is a very real possibility for her future.’
      • ‘Wondrous ethereal, soft comes along the third movement, as though exhausted from the topsy-turvy scherzo.’
      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

  • A state of utter confusion.

Origin

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

Pronunciation

topsy-turvy

/ˌtäpsēˈtərvē//ˌtɑpsiˈtərvi/