Definition of upset the applecart in US English:

upset the applecart

phrase

  • Spoil a plan or disturb the status quo.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘I think it would be a shame to upset the apple cart,’ she added.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    foil, frustrate, baulk, stand in the way of, forestall
    View synonyms