• WordNet 3.6
    • adj topsy-turvy in utter disorder "a disorderly pile of clothes"
    • adv topsy-turvy in disorderly haste "we ran head over heels toward the shelter"
    • adv topsy-turvy in a disordered manner "they were piled up higgledy-piggledy"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • adv Topsy-turvy In an inverted posture; with the top or head downward; upside down; as, to turn a carriage topsy-turvy .
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • topsy-turvy Upside down; in reverse of the natural order; hence, in a state of confusion or chaos: formerly sometimes followed by down.
    • topsy-turvy Turned upside down; upset; hence, confused; disordered; chaotic.
    • n topsy-turvy A topsyturvy condition; great disorder; confusion; chaos.
    • topsy-turvy To turn upside down; upset.
    • ***


  • William James
    “Men's activities are occupied into ways -- in grappling with external circumstances and in striving to set things at one in their own topsy-turvy mind.”
  • Karl Kraus
    “The sound principle of a topsy-turvy lifestyle in the framework of an upside-down world order has stood every test.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Earlier topside-turvey, topsy-tervy,; probably for top so turvy,; that is, the top as turvy, as it were turvy; where turvy, probably means, overturned, fr. AS. torfian, to throw


In literature:

There rose up in his mind a sort of uncomfortable feeling that everything was going topsy-turvy.
"Little Folks (July 1884)" by Various
Such a topsy-turvy state of society was shocking.
"The Children's Book of Christmas Stories" by Various
You can turn it topsy-turvy.
"The Wide, Wide World" by Susan Warner
And as for you, Bella, it seems to me you've got the whole thing topsy-turvy as usual.
"Too Old for Dolls" by Anthony Mario Ludovici
It will be a fitting end to a topsy-turvy farce.
"The Belovéd Vagabond" by William J. Locke
It was a dreary, desolate night that he spent in the topsy-turvy cottage.
"What's-His-Name" by George Barr McCutcheon
The outline of every object was topsy-turvy and dim.
"Wild Life on the Rockies" by Enos A. Mills
Preparations were in full swing, and the Clays' house was, so to speak, turned topsy-turvy.
"Good Luck" by L. T. Meade
Such topsy-turvy habitations as the stores and dwellings of Canvas Town never were seen.
"The Tale of Timber Town" by Alfred Grace
It must be a very genuine emotion to turn the world topsy-turvy for him as it had.
"The Web of the Golden Spider" by Frederick Orin Bartlett
It somehow hurt Shelby's homesick heart to be unrecognized, more than it pleased him to enjoy time's topsy-turvy.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
Their topsy-turvy world, you say, Is out of all perspective?
"Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, December 16, 1914" by Various
What he was saying sounded topsy-turvy.
"The Wall Street Girl" by Frederick Orin Bartlett
The place was turned topsy-turvy.
"Audrey Craven" by May Sinclair
It is literally a topsy-turvy place.
"Common Science" by Carleton W. Washburne
But he has never declared that God was a topsy-turvy image of our own soul.
"Anarchism and Socialism" by George Plechanoff
Topsy-turvy with the can!
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XV" by Robert Louis Stevenson
This was often the case with the topsy-turvy couple.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
The two had reached that topsy-turvy height of anguish that is only expressible by laughter.
"The Return of the Prodigal" by May Sinclair
Let pessimism once take hold of the mind, and life is all topsy-turvy, all vanity and vexation of spirit.
"Optimism" by Helen Keller

In poetry:

Among the tawny tasselled reed
The ducks and ducklings float and feed.
With head oft dabbing in the flood
They fish all day the weedy mud,
And tumbler-like are bobbing there,
Heels topsy turvy in the air.
"The Fens" by John Clare

In news:

Just look at the " Topsy Turvy" for an answer to that question.
A topsy -turvy way to grow tomatoes.
Topsy -turvy March threatens t'storms today weekend snow.
Newsweek's Topsy -Turvy Take on Antidepressants.
Chesapeake Rolling in Topsy -Turvy Anne Arundel.
Walmart's plans to expand Antioch continue on topsy-turvy path.
A Web Of ' Topsy-Turvy ' Alliances.
Topsy-turvy South Austin restaurant scene.
Right's topsy turvy take on reality.
PC's topsy-turvy year ends in quarterfinals.
Topsy Turvy Best Describes GEN Presidential-Choice Poll Responses.
Mike Leigh's " Topsy-Turvy ".
Merger World Is Topsy-Turvy .
In today's topsy-turvy housing market, cash rules.
' Topsy-Turvy ' GOP Race Heads to CPAC.