[ad-vurs, ad-vurs]


unfavorable or antagonistic in purpose or effect: adverse criticism.
opposing one's interests or desire: adverse circumstances.
being or acting in a contrary direction; opposed or opposing: adverse winds.
opposite; confronting: the adverse page.

Origin of adverse

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French advers < Latin adversus hostile (past participle of advertere), equivalent to ad- ad- + vert- turn + -tus past participle suffix, with -tt- > -s-
Related formsad·verse·ly, adverbad·verse·ness, nounun·ad·verse, adjectiveun·ad·verse·ly, adverbun·ad·verse·ness, noun
Can be confusedadverse averse (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms for adverse

Synonym study

2. See contrary.

Antonyms for adverse

1–3. favorable.

Usage note

The adjectives adverse and averse are related both etymologically and semantically, each having “opposition” as a central sense. Adverse is seldom used of people but rather of effects or events, and it usually conveys a sense of hostility or harmfulness: adverse reviews; adverse winds; adverse trends in the economy. Related nouns are adversity and adversary: Adversities breed bitterness. His adversaries countered his every move. Averse is used of persons and means “feeling opposed or disinclined”; it often occurs idiomatically with a preceding negative to convey the opposite meaning “willing or agreeable,” and is not interchangeable with adverse in these contexts: We are not averse to holding another meeting. The related noun is aversion: She has a strong aversion to violence. Averse is usually followed by to, in older use occasionally by from. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adverse

Contemporary Examples of adverse

Historical Examples of adverse

  • The experience of civilized nations has hitherto been adverse to Socialism.

  • Nor was it a small inducement to him to think that the side he adopted was adverse to Kate.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • The adverse weather held us in front and the disease pressed on our rear.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • "Some adverse influence is at work," said Funkelstein, with some vexation.

    David Elginbrod

    George MacDonald

  • It is not wonderful that property began in adverse possession.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

British Dictionary definitions for adverse



antagonistic or inimical; hostileadverse criticism
unfavourable to one's interestsadverse circumstances
contrary or opposite in direction or positionadverse winds
(of leaves, flowers, etc) facing the main stemCompare averse (def. 2)
Derived Formsadversely, adverbadverseness, noun

Word Origin for adverse

C14: from Latin adversus opposed to, hostile, from advertere to turn towards, from ad- to, towards + 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

Word Origin and History for adverse

late 14c., "contrary, opposing," from Old French avers (13c., Modern French adverse) "antagonistic, unfriendly, contrary, foreign" (e.g. gent avers "infidel race"), from Latin adversus "turned against, turned toward, fronting, facing," figuratively "hostile, adverse, unfavorable," past participle of advertere, from ad- "to" (see ad-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Related: Adversely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper