[in-vur-zhuh n, -shuh n]



pertaining to or associated with inversion therapy or the apparatus used in it: inversion boots.

Origin of inversion

1545–55; < Latin inversiōn- (stem of inversiō) a turning in. See inverse, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for inversion

conversion, contradiction, reversal, opposite

Examples from the Web for inversion

Contemporary Examples of inversion

Historical Examples of inversion

  • This is so to speak an inversion of sadism as regards cause and effect.

  • We often meet with pederasty without a trace of inversion of the sexual appetite.

  • The inversion on these particular plates was, probably, purely accidental.

  • Moreover, there is often need of some device to remove the ambiguities that are caused by inversion.


    Paul Allardyce

  • After phrases and clauses which are placed at the beginning of a sentence by inversion.


    Frederick W. Hamilton

British Dictionary definitions for inversion



the act of inverting or state of being inverted
something inverted, esp a reversal of order, mutual functions, etcan inversion of their previous relationship
Also called: anastrophe rhetoric the reversal of a normal order of words
  1. the conversion of a dextrorotatory solution of sucrose into a laevorotatory solution of glucose and fructose by hydrolysis
  2. any similar reaction in which the optical properties of the reactants are opposite to those of the products
  1. the process or result of transposing the notes of a chord (esp a triad) such that the root, originally in the bass, is placed in an upper part. When the bass note is the third of the triad, the resulting chord is the first inversion; when it is the fifth, the resulting chord is the second inversionSee also root position
  2. (in counterpoint) the modification of a melody or part in which all ascending intervals are replaced by corresponding descending intervals and vice versa
  3. the modification of an interval in which the higher note becomes the lower or the lower one the higherSee complement (def. 8)
pathol abnormal positioning of an organ or part, as in being upside down or turned inside out
  1. the adoption of the role or characteristics of the opposite sex
  2. another word for homosexuality
meteorol an abnormal condition in which the layer of air next to the earth's surface is cooler than an overlying layer
anatomy phonetics another word for retroflexion (def. 2)
computing an operation by which each digit of a binary number is changed to the alternative digit, as 10110 to 01001
genetics a type of chromosomal mutation in which a section of a chromosome, and hence the order of its genes, is reversed
logic the process of deriving the inverse of a categorial proposition
maths a transformation that takes a point P to a point P ′ such that OP·OP ′ = a ², where a is a constant and P and P ′ lie on a straight line through a fixed point O and on the same side of it
Derived Formsinversive, 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

Word Origin and History for inversion

1550s, from Latin inversionem (nominative inversio) "an inversion," noun of action from past participle stem of invertere (see invert).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inversion in Medicine




The act of inverting or the state of being inverted.
Conversion of a substance in which the direction of optical rotation is reversed.
The taking on of the gender role of the opposite sex.
A chromosomal defect in which a segment of the chromosome breaks off and reattaches in the reverse direction.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

inversion in Science



A departure from the normal effect of altitude on a meteorological property, especially an atmospheric condition in which the air temperature rises with increasing altitude.♦ A layer of air that is warmer than the air below it is called an inversion layer. Such a layer traps the surface air in place and prevents dispersion of any pollutants it contains.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.