willfully determined or disposed to go counter to what is expected or desired; contrary.
characterized by or proceeding from such a determination or disposition: a perverse mood.
wayward or cantankerous.
persistent or obstinate in what is wrong.
turned away from or rejecting what is right, good, or proper; wicked or corrupt.

Origin of perverse

1325–75; Middle English < Latin perversus facing the wrong way, askew, orig. past participle of pervertere. See pervert
Related formsper·verse·ly, adverbper·verse·ness, nounnon·per·verse, adjectivenon·per·verse·ly, adverbnon·per·verse·ness, nounun·per·verse, adjectiveun·per·verse·ly, adverb

Synonyms for perverse

1. contumacious, disobedient. 4. stubborn, headstrong. See willful. 5. evil, bad, sinful.

Antonyms for perverse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for perversely

peculiarly, strangely, uncommonly, abnormally

Examples from the Web for perversely

Contemporary Examples of perversely

Historical Examples of perversely

  • Perversely, he and Alice did not take to each other in the way Mrs. Yorke had hoped.

    Gordon Keith

    Thomas Nelson Page

  • Perversely, he hated it for healing, and he poked it viciously to feel it throb.

    The Plastic Age

    Percy Marks

  • Perversely he frowned, as if the thing increased his pain, annoyed him beyond words.

  • Perversely, they persisted in huddling in close, tight clusters, as though drawn together by a gravitation of common discomfort.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • Perversely, ever since the advent of his keen young disciple, he himself had been less keen.

    Twos and Threes

    G. B. Stern

British Dictionary definitions for perversely



deliberately deviating from what is regarded as normal, good, or proper
persistently holding to what is wrong
wayward or contrary; obstinate; cantankerous
archaic perverted
Derived Formsperversely, adverbperverseness, noun

Word Origin for perverse

C14: from Old French pervers, from Latin perversus turned the wrong way
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 perversely



mid-14c., "wicked," from Old French pervers "unnatural, degenerate; perverse, contrary" (12c.) and directly from Latin perversus "turned away, contrary, askew," figuratively, "turned away from what is right, wrong, malicious, spiteful," past participle of pervertere "to corrupt" (see pervert (v.)). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by forcerred, from past participle of forcyrran "to avoid," from cierran "to turn, return." Meaning "wrong, not in accord with what is accepted" is from 1560s; sense of "obstinate, stubborn" is from 1570s. It keeps the non-sexual senses of pervert (v.) and allows the psychological ones to go with perverted. Related: Perversely; perverseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper