Share this entry

Share this page

top-heavy

Line breaks: top-heavy

Definition of top-heavy in English:

adjective

1Disproportionately heavy at the top so as to be in danger of toppling: double-decker carriages proved to be unsafe and top-heavy
More example sentences
  • Jenssen's placement of thin, spiderweblike shapes beneath heavier bodies of color gives these works a top-heavy feel, as if they risk collapsing beneath their own weight.
  • Eventually that dense tangle will get worse, causing a top-heavy tree that can break under heavy snow or in high wind.
  • The country in Yuba, Wisconsin is extremely hilly (it's close to the Mississippi side), and the tobacco tractor had a very high wheel base, making it too top-heavy to use on inclines.
2(Of an organization) having a disproportionately large number of senior administrative staff: a top-heavy bureaucracy
More example sentences
  • The police do a difficult job, and, generally, they do it well, despite their constant battles with top-heavy administration, resource shortfalls, and lack of staff.
  • Early retirement as a trend hit Ireland during the 1990s when it became popular with employers seeking to restructure top-heavy organisations and draft in younger employees at a lower cost and on a less committed contractual basis.
  • Corruption and top-heavy bureaucracy have deterred many foreign investors, and there is scant prospect of a clean-out while the government remains seemingly opposed to reform of the legal system.

Derivatives

top-heavily

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • Bulking top-heavily upright, it loomed over the viewer like Rodin's Balzac in a pose that seems deliberately - almost comically - aggressive.
  • It was so crazily thin and elongated in the leg, so top-heavily pouted in the chest, such stalky, flexible-looking distortions of early bipeds… like something seen in one of those comic mirrors.
  • Not too top-heavily and very rhythmically and cleverly elaborated passages grab you and with the oriental touch BEFORE EDEN sound quite independent.

top-heaviness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • In order for the surgery to be covered, the insurance company needed photographic evidence of my top-heaviness.
  • Calling the tendency toward top-heaviness predictable in organizational behavior may be an exaggeration.
  • The weight of this concrete was probably well over 14 tons and only added to the top-heaviness of the vessel.

Words that rhyme with top-heavy

bevvy, bevy, Chevy, heavy, levee, Levi, levy

Definition of top-heavy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…