topple

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topple

[′täp·əl]
(mechanics)
In gyroscopes for marine or aeronautical use, the condition of a sudden upset gyroscope or a gyroscope platform evidenced by a sudden and rapid precession of the spin axis due to large torque disturbances such as the spin axis striking the mechanical stops. Also known as tumble.
References in classic literature ?
It is too dark to see much of the Allegory over-head there, but that importunate Roman, who is for ever toppling out of the clouds and pointing, is at his old work pretty distinctly.
It was as though all his castles in the air had come toppling about his ears, the blue sky had turned to stony grey and the sweet waltz music had become a dirge.
More of the sailors took advantage of the interval to rush for'ard under the toppling fore-topmast, dive into the forecastle, and hastily pack their sea-bags.
At last he fell, toppling backward, exhausted; and the bull-dog promptly shifted his grip, getting in closer, mangling more and more of the fur-folded flesh, throttling White Fang more severely than ever.
The others lay on their faces to avoid the deadly hail, while at each side of the plateau a fringe of bowmen exchanged shots with the slingers and crossbowmen among the rocks, aiming mainly at those who had swarmed up the cliffs, and bursting into laughter and cheers when a well-aimed shaft brought one of their opponents toppling down from his lofty perch.
The drifts along the edges of the meadows and down the lane looked as if a series of breaking waves had, by the lifting of a magician's wand, been suddenly transformed into marble, even to their toppling curls of foam.
Their tops are battered, and broken, and blackened with smoke; and, here and there, some taller stack than the rest, inclining heavily to one side, and toppling over the roof, seems to mediate taking revenge for half a century's neglect, by crushing the inhabitants of the garrets beneath.
The breakers flung out of the night with a ghostly light on their crests -- the light of sea-foam that in a ferocious, boiling-up pale flash showed upon the slender body of the ship the toppling rush, the downfall, and the seething mad scurry of each wave.
was a question I had often heard asked, when everything was sliding and bumping about, and when it certainly did seem difficult to comprehend the possibility of anything afloat being more disturbed, without toppling over and going down.
This fact; the toppling wicks of the dull, wasted candles; the silence that prevailed; and, above all, the nightcaps of both maid and matron, were sufficient evidence that they had been prepared for bed some time ago, and had some reason for sitting up so far beyond their usual hour.
Externally, it was a narrow lopsided wooden jumble of corpulent windows heaped one upon another as you might heap as many toppling oranges, with a crazy wooden verandah impending over the water; indeed the whole house, inclusive of the complaining flag-staff on the roof, impended over the water, but seemed to have got into the condition of a faint-hearted diver who has paused so long on the brink that he will never go in at all.
I thought, The masts will be toppling over directly; and to get out of the way bolted on all-fours towards the poop-ladder.