• 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

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.