View synonyms for reverse


[ ri-vurs ]


  1. opposite or contrary in position, direction, order, or character:

    an impression reverse to what was intended; in reverse sequence.

    Synonyms: converse

    Antonyms: same

  2. with the back or rear part toward the observer:

    the reverse side of a fabric.

  3. pertaining to or producing movement in a mechanism opposite to that made under ordinary running conditions:

    a reverse gear; a reverse turbine.

  4. acting in a manner opposite or contrary to that which is usual, as an appliance or apparatus.
  5. noting or pertaining to an image like that seen in a mirror; backward; reversed.
  6. noting or pertaining to printed matter in which what is normally white, as the page of a book, appears as black, and vice versa.


  1. the opposite or contrary of something.

    Synonyms: counterpart, converse

  2. the back or rear of anything.
  3. Numismatics.
    1. the side of a coin, medal, etc., that does not bear the principal design ( obverse ).
    2. the side of an ancient coin that was struck by the upper die.
  4. an adverse change of fortune; a misfortune, check, or defeat:

    to meet with an unexpected reverse.

    Synonyms: affliction, misadventure, mishap

  5. Machinery.
    1. the condition of being reversed:

      to throw an engine into reverse.

    2. a reversing mechanism.
  6. Football. a play on offense in which one back running laterally hands the ball to another back who is running in the opposite direction and who then makes either an end run or a cutback.
  7. Bridge. reverse bid.
  8. Printing. printed matter in which areas that normally appear as white are printed in black, and vice versa.

verb (used with object)

, re·versed, re·vers·ing.
  1. to turn in an opposite position; transpose:

    The printer accidently reversed two chapters of the book.

  2. to turn in the opposite direction; send on the opposite course.
  3. to turn inside out or upside down.
  4. to change the direction of running of (a mechanism).
  5. to cause (a mechanism) to run in a direction opposite to that in which it commonly runs.
  6. to revoke or annul (a decree, judgment, etc.):

    to reverse a verdict.

    Synonyms: overthrow, rescind, countermand, veto, repeal

  7. to alter to the opposite in character or tendency; change completely.
  8. to turn in the opposite order:

    to reverse the process of evolution.

  9. Printing. to print as a reverse.

verb (used without object)

, re·versed, re·vers·ing.
  1. to shift into reverse gear:

    The driver drove forward, then reversed.

  2. (of a mechanism) to be reversed.
  3. to turn or move in the opposite or contrary direction, as in dancing.
  4. Bridge. to make a reverse bid.


/ rɪˈvɜːs /


  1. to turn or set in an opposite direction, order, or position
  2. to change into something different or contrary; alter completely

    reverse one's policy

  3. also intr to move or cause to move backwards or in an opposite direction

    to reverse a car

  4. to run (machinery, etc) in the opposite direction to normal
  5. to turn inside out
  6. law to revoke or set aside (a judgment, decree, etc); annul
  7. 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
  8. reverse arms
    military to turn one's arms upside down, esp as a token of mourning
  9. reverse the charge or reverse the charges
    to make a telephone call at the recipient's expense


  1. the opposite or contrary of something
  2. the back or rear side of something
  3. a change to an opposite position, state, or direction
  4. 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

  5. the side of a coin bearing a secondary design Compare obverse
    1. printed matter in which normally black or coloured areas, esp lettering, appear white, and vice versa
    2. ( as modifier )

      reverse plates

  6. in reverse
    in an opposite or backward direction
  7. the reverse of
    emphatically not; not at all

    he was the reverse of polite when I called


  1. opposite or contrary in direction, position, order, nature, etc; turned backwards
  2. back to front; inverted
  3. operating or moving in a manner contrary to that which is usual
  4. denoting or relating to a mirror image

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Derived Forms

  • reˈversely, adverb
  • reˈverser, noun

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Other Words From

  • re·vers·ed·ly [ri-, vur, -sid-lee, -, vurst, -lee], adverb
  • re·versely adverb
  • re·verser noun
  • half-re·versed adjective
  • nonre·verse adjective noun
  • nonre·versed adjective
  • nonre·versing adjective
  • prere·verse noun verb (used with object) prereversed prereversing
  • unre·versed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of reverse1

First recorded in 1275–1325; (for the noun) Middle English revers, from Old French, from Latin reversus “turned back,” past participle of revertere “to turn back” ( revert ); (for the verb) Middle English reversen, from Old French reverser, from Late Latin reversāre “to turn around,” literally, “to turn back repeatedly,” from revertere

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Word History and Origins

Origin of reverse1

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

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Synonym Study

See opposite. 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.

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Example Sentences

There’s a long-running debate about whether the reverse—cold acclimatization—also occurs.

Global coronavirus deaths have been falling—but scientists are worried that new variants of the virus may reverse those trends.

From Quartz

While the Mavericks are hardly in crisis given Doncic’s youth and supreme talent, they will be forced to ponder some existential questions if they can’t reverse their negative momentum.

Frustration over vaccinations comes as the Washington region’s average for new infections has been dropping, reversing a post-holiday surge that led to record highs in cases and virus-related deaths last month.

Comcast on Wednesday said it would suspend its new fees on heavy home Internet users in more than a dozen Northeastern states, reversing course on a policy that threatened higher bills for some families amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But  Republican and Democratic parties have made efforts to reverse that trend.

So now the company is asking the FCC to, in effect, reverse itself.

My trip takes the reverse path, and I begin by assessing the depth of my Shakespeare knowledge in his birthplace.

Ditto Virginia, but in reverse; culturally, northern Virginia is Yankee land (but with gun shops).

Europeans seem to find them exotic, an odd case of culture-envy in reverse.

When, however, you learn by rote you know the task as you learned it, and not in the reverse way.

As before suggested, let the pupil recite the foregoing ten events forwards and the reverse way several times from memory.

The backs are mostly cut the reverse way of the grain to the present rule, forming what are now termed "slab" backs.

But for the assurance of his senses he could have believed they headed towards these yellow cliffs instead of the reverse.

The tunnel itself includes a reverse curve, and, at the present time, railroad tracks and Stock Creek waters run through it.


Related Words




reversal processreverse angle shot