Definition of topsy-turvy in English:


Line breaks: topsy-turvy
Pronunciation: /ˌtɒpsɪˈtəːvi

adjective & adverb


[in singular] Back to top  
  • A state of utter confusion: this economic topsy-turvy has been set in motion by employee ownership of public companies



More example sentences
  • While groping her way about, Eve barked her shins against pieces of furniture that seemed to be lying topsy-turvily about.
  • There's joy in the berthing that's managed so scurvily, Pleasure in each individual lurch; Joy in the pitching about topsy-turvily, Fun in the custom-house officers’ search!
  • But alas, in our mechanical universe and in our seedy Romanesque society, things ideal have become perverted and many of our perceptions are based topsy-turvily on our opinions, which in turn are based on other opinions in a sprawling tissue of lies and nonsense, prejudice and superficialities.


More example sentences
  • The contrast between the Stowe / Lincoln and Truth / Lincoln meetings also sets up the metaphor of topsy-turviness.
  • A more radical example of my topsy-turviness: I fell in love briefly with a nature photographer I met at this same crafts fair.
  • The toddlers made fascinating subjects with their bewildered reactions to the topsy-turviness around them.


early 16th century: a jingle apparently based on top1 and obsolete terve 'overturn'.

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