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[ri-vur-zhuh n, -shuh n] /rɪˈvɜr ʒən, -ʃən/
the act of turning something the reverse way.
the state of being so turned; reversal.
the act of reverting; return to a former practice, belief, condition, etc.
  1. reappearance of ancestral characters that have been absent in intervening generations.
  2. return to an earlier or primitive type; atavism.
  1. the returning of an estate to the grantor or the grantor's heirs after the interest granted expires.
  2. an estate which so returns.
  3. the right of succeeding to an estate.
Archaic. the remains, especially of food or drink after a meal.
Origin of reversion
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin reversiōn- (stem of reversiō) a turning back. See reverse, -ion
Related forms
reversionally, adverb
nonreversion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for reversion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The suddenness of this reversion to another stage of their argument enhanced his natural difficulty in understanding her.

    The Whirlpool George Gissing
  • For the lease could not, and the reversion would not be likely to, go by disseisin.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • It is to this view that Darwin refers when he says that Naudin's view throws no light on the reversion to long-lost characters.

  • La Dolciquita liked this reversion, and he passed the night in her bed.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • I will set you a fair sum over this table against the reversion of your estate in Virginia at the old lady's departure.

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
  • I am promised by my Sovereign a dukedom and his orders with a reversion to my heir.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for reversion


a return to or towards an earlier condition, practice, or belief; act of reverting
the act of reversing or the state of being reversed; reversal
  1. the return of individuals, organs, etc, to a more primitive condition or type
  2. the reappearance of primitive characteristics in an individual or group
(property law)
  1. an interest in an estate that reverts to the grantor or his heirs at the end of a period, esp at the end of the life of a grantee
  2. an estate so reverting
  3. the right to succeed to such an estate
the benefit payable on the death of a life-insurance policyholder
Derived Forms
reversionally, adverb
reversionary, reversional, adjective
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 reversion

late 14c., from Old French reversion, from Latin reversionem (nominative reversio) "act of turning back," noun of action from past participle stem of revertere (see revert).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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reversion in Medicine

reversion re·ver·sion (rĭ-vûr'zhən)

  1. The return of a trait or characteristic peculiar to a remote ancestor, especially one that has been suppressed for one or more generations.

  2. A return to the normal phenotype, usually by a second mutation.

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