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 formsre·vers·ed·ly [ri-vur-sid-lee, -vurst-lee] /rɪˈvɜr sɪd li, -ˈvɜrst li/, adverbre·verse·ly, adverbre·vers·er, nounhalf-re·versed, adjectivenon·re·verse, adjective, nounnon·re·versed, adjectivenon·re·vers·ing, adjectivepre·re·verse, noun, verb (used with object), pre·re·versed, pre·re·vers·ing.un·re·versed, adjective
Can be confusedconverse inverse obverse reverse

Synonyms for 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.

Antonyms for reverse

1. same.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reversed

Contemporary Examples of reversed

Historical Examples of reversed

British Dictionary definitions for reversed


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 reversed



c.1300, from Old French revers "reverse, cross, opposite" (13c.), from Latin reversus, past participle of revertere "turn back, turn about, come back, return" (see revert). Reverse angle in film-making is from 1934. Reverse discrimination is attested from 1962, American English.



mid-14c., "opposite or contrary" (of something), from reverse (adj.) or from Old French Related: revers "the opposite, reverse." Meaning "a defeat, a change of fortune" is from 1520s; meaning "back side of a coin" is from 1620s. Of gear-shifts in motor cars, from 1875. As a type of sports play (originally rugby) it is recorded from 1921.



early 14c. (transitive), "change, alter;" early 15c. (intransitive), "go backward," from Old French reverser "reverse, turn around; roll, turn up" (12c.), from Late Latin reversare "turn about, turn back," frequentative of Latin revertere (see revert). Related: Reversed; reversing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper