Definition of upheaval in English:



  • 1A violent or sudden change or disruption to something.

    ‘major upheavals in the financial markets’
    [mass noun] ‘times of political upheaval’
    • ‘Despite this, a long and complicated number of coups and upheavals continued in the country.’
    • ‘‘The recent upheavals have demonstrated the danger the sector faced from not being aware of the importance of facts and figures,’ McDonnell said.’
    • ‘Even after Napoleon had been consigned to his island prison on Saint Helena the upheaval continued unabated.’
    • ‘‘There are continuing upheavals in Africa,’ he says.’
    • ‘After a series of scandals and upheavals that occurred in the 1980s this huge economic conglomerate totally collapsed.’
    • ‘In many European countries major political upheavals and wars since the 18th century caused dispersion of cultural artefacts such as portraits throughout the world.’
    • ‘These internal upheavals have displaced millions of desperate people who cross borders searching for freedom and protection.’
    • ‘Despite subsequent upheavals, the French have never seriously considered restoring the monarchy since.’
    • ‘It is clear from the major upheavals faced by farming in recent years that agriculture is changing.’
    • ‘Despite the upheaval, revenue continues to grow, as do jobs however, in many cases those jobs are changing.’
    • ‘The recent upheavals were so unpopular that it would be a brave government to implement anything like that again.’
    • ‘Marx's own time was similarly marked by a series of turbulent social, political, and economic upheavals, all of which helped shape and produce Marxism.’
    • ‘The arrival of Timothy's new friends had not been the only upheaval in his recent experiences.’
    • ‘Few people believed that the Empire could continue unchanged after the upheavals of the war.’
    • ‘Have there been any upheavals in the recent past?’
    • ‘Her books, bearing ambitious titles such as Women, Resistance and Revolution, helped shape one of the biggest political upheavals of the 20th century.’
    • ‘However, this growing opposition did not erupt in open upheavals or mass strikes, at least as far as I can judge.’
    • ‘But during the political upheavals she found herself a stateless person and was granted British citizenship, though she still returns to Malawi from time to time to visit her family.’
    • ‘Much of the initial enthusiasm had cooled when the fall of the Bastille was followed by continued upheavals.’
    • ‘To understand deviance and crime one needs to be aware of what constitutes normality, a task which became increasingly difficult as social upheavals continued through the early 1990s when the fieldwork was conducted.’
    disruption, upset, disturbance, trouble, turbulence
    disorder, disorganization, confusion, turmoil, pandemonium, bedlam, furore, uproar, disarray, chaos, mayhem, cataclysm
    revolution, violent change, sudden change
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An upward displacement of part of the earth's crust.
      • ‘Over eons these sediments became buried beneath layers of mud and ash caused by forest fires, more volcanic eruptions, rains and upheavals.’
      • ‘Since being exposed through the earth's upheavals on the top of a mountain in Antarctica, the rest of the fish's body had now unfortunately been eroded away.’
      • ‘Formed by volcanic upheavals, the island sits atop 100-foot cliffs rising straight out of deep ocean.’
      • ‘The ancient earth was prepared through thousands of years of geologic upheaval.’
      • ‘The geological upheavals that divided rivers and river basins provided opportunities for speciation when fish populations were isolated.’
      • ‘The Boxing Day tsunami and the Sumatran earthquake on March 28, which registered 9 on the Richter scale, have made the world conscious of these massive upheavals of the Earth.’