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[ad-vur-si-tee] /ædˈvɜr sɪ ti/
noun, plural adversities for 2.
adverse or unfavorable fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress:
Friends will show their true colors in times of adversity.
an adverse or unfortunate event or circumstance:
You will meet many adversities in life.
Origin of adversity
1200-50; Middle English adversite (< Anglo-French) < Latin adversitās. See adverse, -ity
1. catastrophe, disaster; trouble, misery.
1. prosperity.
Synonym Study
2. See affliction. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for adversity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet, measured according to the stern standards of adversity, Mary was fortunate.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • It will blunt the keen edge of sorrow, and smooth the asperities of adversity.

  • That part of your friend which it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • To fight it out, shoulder to shoulder with my brethren in adversity.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • But the great Wampanoag chief was not a man to yield to adversity.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for adversity


noun (pl) -ties
distress; affliction; hardship
an unfortunate event or incident
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 adversity

c.1200, aduersite "misfortune, hardship, difficulty," from Old French aversité "adversity, calamity, misfortune; hostility, wickedness, malice" (Modern French adversité), from Latin adversitatem (nominative adversitas) "opposition," from adversus (see adverse).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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