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perverse

[per-vurs]
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adjective
  1. willfully determined or disposed to go counter to what is expected or desired; contrary.
  2. characterized by or proceeding from such a determination or disposition: a perverse mood.
  3. wayward or cantankerous.
  4. persistent or obstinate in what is wrong.
  5. turned away from or rejecting what is right, good, or proper; wicked or corrupt.
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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

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

Antonyms

1. agreeable. 4. tractable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perverseness

Historical Examples

  • Perverseness prompted Theodora to say, 'The baby at the lodge is twice the size.'

    Heartsease

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of Perverseness.

  • Perverseness in this error hath brought the church to the misery which it endureth.


British Dictionary definitions for perverseness

perverse

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

Word Origin

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 perverseness

perverse

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper