[ verb per-vurt; noun pur-vert ]
See synonyms for pervert on
verb (used with object)
  1. to affect with perversion.

  2. to lead astray morally.

  1. to turn away from the right course.

  2. to lead into mental error or false judgment.

  3. to turn to an improper use; misapply.

  4. to misconstrue or misinterpret, especially deliberately; distort: to pervert someone's statement.

  5. to bring to a less excellent state; vitiate; debase.

  6. Pathology. to change to what is unnatural or abnormal.

  7. to convert or persuade to a religious belief regarded as false or wrong.

  1. a person who practices sexual perversion.

  2. Pathology. a person affected with perversion.

  1. a person who has been perverted, or turned from what is right, especially to a religious belief regarded as erroneous.

Origin of pervert

First recorded in 1300–50; (for the verb) Middle English perverten, from Latin pervertere “to overturn, subvert,” from per- per- + vertere “to turn”; (for the noun) noun use of obsolete pervert “perverted”

Other words for pervert

Other words from pervert

  • per·vert·er, noun
  • per·vert·i·ble, adjective
  • per·vert·i·bil·i·ty, noun
  • per·vert·i·bly, adverb
  • non·per·vert·i·ble, adjective

Words Nearby pervert Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pervert in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pervert


verb(pəˈvɜːt) (tr)
  1. to use wrongly or badly

  2. to interpret wrongly or badly; distort

  1. to lead into deviant or perverted beliefs or behaviour; corrupt

  2. to debase

  1. a person who practises sexual perversion

Origin of pervert

C14: from Old French pervertir, from Latin pervertere to turn the wrong way, from per- (indicating deviation) + vertere to turn

Derived forms of pervert

  • perverter, noun
  • pervertible, 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