• synonyms


[ri-vur-suh-buh l]
  1. capable of reversing or of being reversed.
  2. capable of reestablishing the original condition after a change by the reverse of the change.
  3. (of a fabric) woven or printed so that either side may be exposed.
  4. that can be worn with either side out: a reversible jacket.
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  1. a garment, especially a coat, that can be worn with either side exposed.
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Origin of reversible

First recorded in 1640–50; reverse + -ible
Related formsre·vers·i·bil·i·ty, re·vers·i·ble·ness, nounre·vers·i·bly, adverbnon·re·vers·i·bil·i·ty, nounnon·re·vers·i·ble, adjectivenon·re·vers·i·ble·ness, nounnon·re·vers·i·bly, adverbun·re·vers·i·ble, adjectiveun·re·vers·i·ble·ness, nounun·re·vers·i·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for reversibility

Historical Examples of reversibility

  • This property of reversibility is also shared by the process of Carnot.

    Popular scientific lectures

    Ernst Mach

  • The combination of invariability and reversibility in the Peirce pendulums was an innovation for relative determinations.

  • This energy limit for reversibility is then imposed by the cohesive properties of the material or by its elastic limits.

  • The amount of energy which would now be working in that process may be termed the limiting energy for reversibility.

  • The ratio of the maximum or limiting energy for reversibility to the total energy of the system may vary in value.

British Dictionary definitions for reversibility


  1. capable of being reverseda reversible decision
  2. capable of returning to an original condition
  3. chem physics capable of assuming or producing either of two possible states and changing from one to the othera reversible reaction
  4. thermodynamics (of a change, process, etc) occurring through a number of intermediate states that are all in thermodynamic equilibrium
  5. (of a fabric or garment) woven, printed, or finished so that either side may be used as the outer side
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  1. a reversible garment, esp a coat
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Derived Formsreversibility, nounreversibly, adverb
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 reversibility



1640s, from reverse (v.) + -ible. As a noun, of garments, from 1863. Related: Reversable (1580s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper