a willful tendency or determination to go counter to what is expected or desired, sometimes for no apparent reason; contrariness:On Thanksgiving, out of sheer perversity, he brought up a topic that was almost taboo for his family.
the quality of being, or having an effect, exactly contrary to what is expected or desired: The administration was slow to acknowledge the perversity of their welfare reform, which has given the underemployed an incentive to become unemployed.
persistence or obstinacy in what is wrong:She again rejected her parents' advice with self-defeating perversity.
a turning away from or rejection of thoughts and deeds one knows are right, good, or proper; wickedness or corruption: The preacher lamented the perversity of mankind that began in the Garden of Eden.
an instance of willful contrariety, obstinacy, or wickedness, or an outcome directly opposite to one’s intentions or expectations: One of the perversities of the system is that the worse one’s crime in one’s home country, the more likely one is to gain asylum.
- Also perverseness .
- non·per·ver·si·ty, noun, plural non·per·ver·si·ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use perversity in a sentence
Niskanen policy director Samuel Hammond calls Manchin’s position “performative austerity,” and points to a deep perversity.Joe Manchin’s ugly new demands expose the absurdity of arbitrary centrism | Greg Sargent | October 18, 2021 | Washington Post
"perversity is the only thing that makes this rotten life worth living," retorted Bakkus.The Mountebank | William J. Locke
She answered, 'The shape of an Ass that will carry two on its back, thou perversity!'The Shaving of Shagpat, Complete | George Meredith
perversity haunts the garden, and the dock always grows as near as possible to some plant that you value.The New Gulliver and Other Stories | Barry Pain
perversity prompted her answer, but at once she remembered Crewe, and turned away in annoyance.In the Year of Jubilee | George Gissing
perversity, inconsistency—but it was her nature, and she could not overcome it.One Man in His Time | Ellen Glasgow
British Dictionary definitions for perversity
the quality or state of being perverse
a perverse action, comment, etc
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