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[ad-vurs, ad-vurs] /ædˈvɜrs, ˈæd vɜrs/
unfavorable or antagonistic in purpose or effect:
adverse criticism.
opposing one's interests or desire:
adverse circumstances.
being or acting in a contrary direction; opposed or opposing:
adverse winds.
opposite; confronting:
the adverse page.
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French advers < Latin adversus hostile (past participle of advertere), equivalent to ad- ad- + vert- turn + -tus past participle suffix, with -tt- > -s-
Related forms
adversely, adverb
adverseness, noun
unadverse, adjective
unadversely, adverb
unadverseness, noun
Can be confused
adverse, averse (see usage note at the current entry)
1. hostile, inimical, unfriendly. 2. unfavorable; unlucky, unfortunate; disastrous, calamitous, catastrophic. See contrary.
1–3. favorable.
Usage note
The adjectives adverse and averse are related both etymologically and semantically, each having “opposition” as a central sense. Adverse is seldom used of people but rather of effects or events, and it usually conveys a sense of hostility or harmfulness: adverse reviews; adverse winds; adverse trends in the economy. Related nouns are adversity and adversary: Adversities breed bitterness. His adversaries countered his every move. Averse is used of persons and means “feeling opposed or disinclined”; it often occurs idiomatically with a preceding negative to convey the opposite meaning “willing or agreeable,” and is not interchangeable with adverse in these contexts: We are not averse to holding another meeting. The related noun is aversion: She has a strong aversion to violence. Averse is usually followed by to, in older use occasionally by from. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for adverse
  • I'm not at all adverse to getting apologies.
  • You should save not only for retirement, but also for adverse income shocks.
  • Genes could also predict who will suffer from adverse reactions.
  • Boycotts have always had adverse impact on the boycotters as well as the target.
  • Still, the direction of these currently adverse trade winds should soon change.
  • Cells have evolved a particular response to stay alive in adverse conditions.
  • People experience adverse events at all kinds of workplaces all the time.
  • It's no secret that many people find gaming to be an unfeminine trait, so they raise their daughters to be adverse to gaming.
  • The relief this substance provides is temporary, but the adverse consequences of it's prolonged use endure much longer.
  • We're learning about what a group of people can do under adverse circumstances.
British Dictionary definitions for adverse


/ˈædvɜːs; ædˈvɜːs/
antagonistic or inimical; hostile: adverse criticism
unfavourable to one's interests: adverse circumstances
contrary or opposite in direction or position: adverse winds
(of leaves, flowers, etc) facing the main stem Compare averse (sense 2)
Derived Forms
adversely, adverb
adverseness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin adversus opposed to, hostile, from advertere to turn towards, from ad- to, towards + vertere to turn
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 adverse

late 14c., "contrary, opposing," from Old French avers (13c., Modern French adverse) "antagonistic, unfriendly, contrary, foreign" (e.g. gent avers "infidel race"), from Latin adversus "turned against, turned toward, fronting, facing," figuratively "hostile, adverse, unfavorable," past participle of advertere, from ad- "to" (see ad-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Related: Adversely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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