9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[n. ob-vurs; adj. ob-vurs, ob-vurs] /n. ˈɒb vɜrs; adj. ɒbˈvɜrs, ˈɒb vɜrs/
the side of a coin, medal, flag, etc., that bears the principal design (opposed to reverse).
the front or principal surface of anything.
a counterpart.
Logic. a proposition obtained from another by obversion.
facing the observer.
corresponding to something else as a counterpart.
having the base narrower than the top, as a leaf.
Origin of obverse
1650-60; < Latin obversus turned toward or against (past participle of obvertere), equivalent to ob- ob- + vert(ere) to turn + -tus past participle suffix, with tt > s
Can be confused
converse, inverse, obverse, reverse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for obverse
  • At age eighty he can be observed in his obverse infancy, metaphorically sucking and tonguing the missing tooth of his life.
  • The easy praising of benevolence has no costless obverse in respect to controlling against harms inflicted on strangers.
  • Our rich sentimentality, obverse side to our rigorous cynicism.
  • The obverse of these desirable characteristics looks less appealing.
  • Then there is the obverse of the argument in the second paragraph.
  • Alas, the obverse of this is an almost automatic animosity towards all outsiders.
  • Insofar as politics can be a humane endeavour, opportunism threatens to turn politics into a shameful obverse.
  • The obverse features an image of the legs and boots of three veterans.
British Dictionary definitions for obverse


facing or turned towards the observer
forming or serving as a counterpart
(of certain plant leaves) narrower at the base than at the top
a counterpart or complement
the side of a coin that bears the main design or device Compare reverse (sense 15)
(logic) a categorial proposition derived from another by replacing the original predicate by its negation and changing the proposition from affirmative to negative or vice versa, as no sum is correct from every sum is incorrect
Derived Forms
obversely, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin obversus turned towards, past participle of obvertere, from ob- to + 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 obverse

"turned toward the observer, frontal," 1650s, from Latin obversus "turned against, directed toward," past participle of obvertere "to turn toward or against," from ob "toward" (see ob-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). According to OED, not in common use until the end of the 18th century. The noun, in reference to coins, medals, etc. (opposite of reverse), is attested from 1650s. Related: Obversely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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