upset the applecart

applecart

[ap-uhl-kahrt]
noun
1.
a pushcart used by a vendor of apples.
Idioms
2.
upset the/someone's applecart, to ruin plans or arrangements; spoil something: He was making a fantastic profit until a competitor upset the applecart by cutting prices.

Origin:
1780–90; apple + cart

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
applecart (ˈæpəlˌkɑːt)
 
n
1.  a cart or barrow from which apples and other fruit are sold in the street
2.  upset the applecart to spoil plans or arrangements

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

upset the applecart

Spoil carefully laid plans, as in Now don't upset the applecart by revealing where we're going. This expression started out as upset the cart, used since Roman times to mean "spoil everything." The precise idiom dates from the late 1700s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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