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[ri-vur-suh l] /rɪˈvɜr səl/
an act or instance of reversing.
the state of being reversed.
an adverse change of fortune; reverse.
Law. the setting aside of a decision of a lower court by a higher court.
Origin of reversal
First recorded in 1480-90; reverse + -al2
Related forms
prereversal, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reversal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The only reversal had been a minor one before the forest of Crcy.

  • In the case of the world, the perturbation is very slight, and amounts only to a reversal of motion.

    Statesman Plato
  • If so, it was by a reversal of polarity through an act of will.

    Disowned Victor Endersby
  • This reversal is pregnant with a new outlook for statecraft.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann
  • Worst we can hope for is a conviction and then a Supreme Court reversal.

    The Cross-Cut

    Courtney Ryley Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for reversal


the act or an instance of reversing
a change for the worse; reverse: a reversal of fortune
the state of being reversed
the annulment of a judicial decision, esp by an appeal court on grounds of error or irregularity
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 reversal

late 15c., from reverse (v.) + -al (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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reversal in Medicine

reversal re·ver·sal (rĭ-vûr'səl)

  1. A change to an opposite condition, direction, or position.

  2. A condition in which an individual has difficulty distinguishing the lowercase printed or written characters of particular letters: p from q; g or b from d; or s from z.

  3. The change of an emotion into its opposite, as from love into hate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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