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[top-uh l] /ˈtɒp əl/
verb (used without object), toppled, toppling.
to fall forward, as from having too heavy a top; pitch; tumble down.
to lean over or jut, as if threatening to fall.
verb (used with object), toppled, toppling.
to cause to topple.
to overthrow, as from a position of authority:
to topple the king.
1535-45; earlier top to tilt, topple (see tope1) + -le
Related forms
untoppled, adjective
4. defeat, vanquish, overcome, overpower. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for topple
  • During spells of heavy rain and strong winds, large trees may even topple.
  • Mature trees topple, taking building chunks with them.
  • It looks as if it would take little more than a strong breeze or a good push to topple some of their more prominent features.
  • Now a new finding may topple another pillar of the theory.
  • The reactors did not fail or topple or become dislodged because of the earthquake or tsunami.
  • The findings underscore the mosaic nature of the remains, and threaten to topple a leading model of human evolution.
  • If the pressure is set too low, the plane may not stop soon enough and so topple off the end of the deck into the sea.
  • Both are insurgencies seeking to topple the government, both are drug-fueled.
  • If the tree was really a tree, it would topple immediately to one side.
  • Some of the old monarchies and religious regimes begin to topple.
British Dictionary definitions for topple


to tip over or cause to tip over, esp from a height
(intransitive) to lean precariously or totter
(transitive) to overthrow; oust
Word Origin
C16: frequentative of top1 (verb)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for topple
1590, "tumble down," earlier "to tumble or roll about" (1542), from a verb derived from top (1) + freq. suffix -le.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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