[ ad-vurs, ad-vurs ]
See synonyms for: adverseadversely on

  1. unfavorable or antagonistic in purpose or effect: adverse criticism.

  2. opposing one's interests or desire: adverse circumstances.

  1. being or acting in a contrary direction; opposed or opposing: adverse winds.

  2. opposite; confronting: the adverse page.

Origin of adverse

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French advers, from Latin adversus “hostile” (past participle of advertere ), equivalent to ad- ad- + vert- “turn” + -tus past participle suffix, with -tt- giving rise to -s-

synonym study For adverse

2. See contrary.

confusables note For adverse

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.

Other words for adverse

Opposites for adverse

Other words from adverse

  • ad·verse·ly, adverb
  • ad·verse·ness, noun
  • un·ad·verse, adjective
  • un·ad·verse·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with adverse

  • adverse , averse (see usage note at the current entry)

Words Nearby adverse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use adverse in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for adverse


/ (ˈædvɜːs, ædˈvɜːs) /

  1. antagonistic or inimical; hostile: adverse criticism

  2. unfavourable to one's interests: adverse circumstances

  1. contrary or opposite in direction or position: adverse winds

  2. (of leaves, flowers, etc) facing the main stem: Compare averse (def. 2)

Origin of adverse

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

Derived forms of adverse

  • adversely, adverb
  • adverseness, noun

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