Nearby words

  1. revers,
  2. reversal,
  3. reversal film,
  4. reversal plate,
  5. reversal process,
  6. reverse angle shot,
  7. reverse annuity mortgage,
  8. reverse apartheid,
  9. reverse bar,
  10. reverse bevel

Origin of reverse

1275–1325; (noun) Middle English revers < Old French < Latin reversus, past participle of revertere to revert (see verse); (v.) Middle English reversen < Old French reverser < Late Latin reversāre, frequentative of revertere

Related forms
Can be confusedconverse inverse obverse reverse

Synonym study

1. See opposite. 15, 17. Reverse, invert agree in meaning to change into a contrary position, order, or relation. To reverse is to place or move something so that it is facing in the opposite direction from the one faced previously: to reverse from right to left; to reverse a decision. To invert is to turn upside down: to invert a stamp in printing; to invert a bowl over a plate. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reverse

British Dictionary definitions for reverse


verb (mainly tr)

to turn or set in an opposite direction, order, or position
to change into something different or contrary; alter completelyreverse one's policy
(also intr) to move or cause to move backwards or in an opposite directionto reverse a car
to run (machinery, etc) in the opposite direction to normal
to turn inside out
law to revoke or set aside (a judgment, decree, etc); annul
(often foll by out) to print from plates so made that white lettering or design of (a page, text, display, etc) appears on a black or coloured background
reverse arms military to turn one's arms upside down, esp as a token of mourning
reverse the charge or reverse the charges to make a telephone call at the recipient's expense


the opposite or contrary of something
the back or rear side of something
a change to an opposite position, state, or direction
a change for the worse; setback or defeat
  1. the mechanism or gears by which machinery, a vehicle, etc, can be made to reverse its direction
  2. (as modifier)reverse gear
the side of a coin bearing a secondary designCompare obverse (def. 5)
  1. printed matter in which normally black or coloured areas, esp lettering, appear white, and vice versa
  2. (as modifier)reverse plates
in reverse in an opposite or backward direction
the reverse of emphatically not; not at allhe was the reverse of polite when I called


opposite or contrary in direction, position, order, nature, etc; turned backwards
back to front; inverted
operating or moving in a manner contrary to that which is usual
denoting or relating to a mirror image
Derived Formsreversely, adverbreverser, noun

Word Origin for reverse

C14: from Old French, from Latin reversus, from revertere to turn back

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 reverse
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper