[ adjective kuh n-vurs, kon-vurs; noun kon-vurs ]
/ adjective kənˈvɜrs, ˈkɒn vɜrs; noun ˈkɒn vɜrs /


opposite or contrary in direction, action, sequence, etc.; turned around.


something opposite or contrary.
  1. a proposition obtained from another proposition by conversion.
  2. the relation between two terms, one of which is related to the other in a given manner, as “younger than” to “older than.”
a group of words correlative with a preceding group but having a significant pair of terms interchanged, as “hot in winter but cold in summer” and “cold in winter but hot in summer.”

Origin of converse

1350–1400; Middle English convers (< Anglo-French) < Latin conversus past participle of convertere to turn around, equivalent to con- con- + vert- turn + -tus past participle suffix; see convert1

Related forms

con·verse·ly [kuh n-vurs-lee, kon-vurs-] /kənˈvɜrs li, ˈkɒn vɜrs-/, adverb

Can be confused

converse inverse obverse reverse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conversely

British Dictionary definitions for conversely (1 of 3)


/ (ˈkɒnvɜːslɪ) /


(sentence modifier) in a contrary or opposite way; on the other hand

British Dictionary definitions for conversely (2 of 3)



verb (kənˈvɜːs) (intr often foll by with)

to engage in conversation (with)
to commune spiritually (with)
  1. to associate; consort
  2. to have sexual intercourse

noun (ˈkɒnvɜːs)

conversation (often in the phrase hold converse with)
  1. fellowship or acquaintance
  2. sexual intercourse

Derived Forms

converser, noun

Word Origin for converse

C16: from Old French converser, from Latin conversārī to keep company with, from conversāre to turn constantly, from vertere to turn

British Dictionary definitions for conversely (3 of 3)


/ (ˈkɒnvɜːs) /


(prenominal) reversed; opposite; contrary


something that is opposite or contrary
  1. a categorical proposition obtained from another by the transposition of subject and predicate, as no bad man is bald from no bald man is bad
  2. a proposition so derived, possibly by weakening a universal proposition to the corresponding particular, as some socialists are rich from all rich men are socialists
logic maths a relation that holds between two relata only when a given relation holds between them in reverse order: thus father of is the converse of son of

Word Origin for converse

C16: from Latin conversus turned around; see converse 1
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