[per-vur-zhuh n, -shuh n]


the act of perverting.
the state of being perverted.
a perverted form of something.
any of various means of obtaining sexual gratification that are generally regarded as being abnormal.
Pathology. a change to what is unnatural or abnormal: a perversion of function or structure.

Origin of perversion

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin perversiōn- (stem of perversiō). See perverse, -ion
Related formsnon·per·ver·sion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perversion

Historical Examples of perversion

British Dictionary definitions for perversion



any abnormal means of obtaining sexual satisfaction
the act of perverting or the state of being perverted
a perverted form or usage
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 perversion

late 14c., "action of turning aside from truth, corruption, distortion" (originally of religious beliefs), from Latin perversionem (nominative perversio) "a turning about," noun of action from past participle stem of pervertere (see pervert (v.)). Psychological sense of "disorder of sexual behavior in which satisfaction is sought through channels other than those of normal heterosexual intercourse" is from 1892, originally including homosexuality.

Perversions are defined as unnatural acts, acts contrary to nature, bestial, abominable, and detestable. Such laws are interpretable only in accordance with the ancient tradition of the English common law which ... is committed to the doctrine that no sexual activity is justifiable unless its objective is procreation. [A.C. Kinsey,, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male," 1948]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

perversion in Medicine




A practice or act, especially one that is sexual in nature, considered abnormal or deviant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.