[in-vur-zhuhn, -shuhn]
an act or instance of inverting.
the state of being inverted.
anything that is inverted.
Rhetoric. reversal of the usual or natural order of words; anastrophe.
Grammar. any change from a basic word order or syntactic sequence, as in the placement of a subject after an auxiliary verb in a question or after the verb in an exclamation, as “When will you go?” and “How beautiful is the rose!”
Anatomy, Pathology. the turning inward of a part, as the foot.
a hydrolysis of certain carbohydrates, as cane sugar, that results in a reversal of direction of the rotatory power of the carbohydrate solution, the plane of polarized light being bent from right to left or vice versa.
a reaction in which a starting material of one optical configuration forms a product of the opposite configuration.
the process or result of transposing the tones of an interval or chord so that the original bass becomes an upper voice.
(in counterpoint) the transposition of the upper voice part below the lower, and vice versa.
presentation of a melody in contrary motion to its original form.
Psychiatry. assumption of the sexual role of the opposite sex; homosexuality.
Genetics. a type of chromosomal aberration in which the position of a segment of the chromosome is changed in such a way that the linear order of the genes is reversed. Compare chromosomal aberration.
Phonetics, retroflexion ( def 3 ).
Also called atmospheric inversion, temperature inversion. Meteorology. a reversal in the normal temperature lapse rate, the temperature rising with increased elevation instead of falling.
Electricity. a converting of direct current into alternating current.
Mathematics. the operation of forming the inverse of a point, curve, function, etc.
pertaining to or associated with inversion therapy or the apparatus used in it: inversion boots.

1545–55; < Latin inversiōn- (stem of inversiō) a turning in. See inverse, -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
inversion (ɪnˈvɜːʃən)
1.  the act of inverting or state of being inverted
2.  something inverted, esp a reversal of order, mutual functions, etc: an inversion of their previous relationship
3.  rhetoric Also called: anastrophe the reversal of a normal order of words
4.  chem
 a.  the conversion of a dextrorotatory solution of sucrose into a laevorotatory solution of glucose and fructose by hydrolysis
 b.  any similar reaction in which the optical properties of the reactants are opposite to those of the products
5.  music
 a.  See also root position the process or result of transposing the notes of a chord (esp a triad) such that the root, originally in the bass, is placed in an upper part. When the bass note is the third of the triad, the resulting chord is the first inversion; when it is the fifth, the resulting chord is the second inversion
 b.  (in counterpoint) the modification of a melody or part in which all ascending intervals are replaced by corresponding descending intervals and vice versa
 c.  See complement the modification of an interval in which the higher note becomes the lower or the lower one the higher
6.  pathol abnormal positioning of an organ or part, as in being upside down or turned inside out
7.  psychiatry
 a.  the adoption of the role or characteristics of the opposite sex
 b.  another word for homosexuality
8.  meteorol an abnormal condition in which the layer of air next to the earth's surface is cooler than an overlying layer
9.  anatomy, phonetics another word for retroflexion
10.  computing an operation by which each digit of a binary number is changed to the alternative digit, as 10110 to 01001
11.  genetics a type of chromosomal mutation in which a section of a chromosome, and hence the order of its genes, is reversed
12.  logic the process of deriving the inverse of a categorial proposition
13.  maths a transformation that takes a point P to a point P′ such that OP·OP′ = a², where a is a constant and P and P′ lie on a straight line through a fixed point O and on the same side of it

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

inversion in·ver·sion (ĭn-vûr'zhən, -shən)

  1. The act of inverting or the state of being inverted.

  2. Conversion of a substance in which the direction of optical rotation is reversed.

  3. The taking on of the gender role of the opposite sex.

  4. Homosexuality. Used in psychology.

  5. A chromosomal defect in which a segment of the chromosome breaks off and reattaches in the reverse direction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
inversion   (ĭn-vûr'zhən)  Pronunciation Key 
A departure from the normal effect of altitude on a meteorological property, especially an atmospheric condition in which the air temperature rises with increasing altitude. ◇ A layer of air that is warmer than the air below it is called an inversion layer. Such a layer traps the surface air in place and prevents dispersion of any pollutants it contains.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in chemistry, the spatial rearrangement of atoms or groups of atoms in a dissymmetric molecule, giving rise to a product with a molecular configuration that is a mirror image of that of the original molecule.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The inversion can cause pollutants to build up near the ground.
The grievance, part of a complaint process within the state university system,
  focuses on salary compression and salary inversion.
One of these events, at global scale, was the inversion of the populations
Thus the impact of the new consciousness became a pivotal factor in a
  dialectical inversion.
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