verb (used without object)

to return to a former habit, practice, belief, condition, etc.: They reverted to the ways of their forefathers.
Law. to go back to or return to the former owner or to his or her heirs.
Biology. to return to an earlier or primitive type.
to go back in thought or discussion: He constantly reverted to his childhood.


a person or thing that reverts.
Law. a reversion.

Origin of revert

1250–1300; Middle English reverten (< Old French revertir) < Latin revertere to turn back, equivalent to re- re- + vertere to turn; see verse
Related formsre·vert·i·ble, adjectivere·vert·i·bil·i·ty, nounre·ver·tive, adjectivere·ver·tive·ly, adverbnon·re·vert·i·ble, adjectivenon·re·ver·tive, adjectiveun·re·vert·ed, adjectiveun·re·vert·i·ble, adjectiveun·re·vert·ing, adjective

Synonyms for revert

1, 3. retrogress. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reverted

Contemporary Examples of reverted

Historical Examples of reverted

  • When they were sitting at the door in the semidusk, he reverted to the idea.

  • To gain a diversion, he reverted to his familiar bullying tactics.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • She reverted to the subject a little later, while she washed the dishes and Alice wiped them.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • When he returned Diane reverted to something he had said before.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • She reverted to it presently as she was going indoors alone with her cousin.

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for reverted


verb (rɪˈvɜːt) (intr foll by to)

to go back to a former practice, condition, belief, etcshe reverted to her old wicked ways
to take up again or come back to a former topic
biology (of individuals, organs, etc) to return to a more primitive, earlier, or simpler condition or type
US to reply to someonewe will revert to you with pricing and other details
property law (of an estate or interest in land) to return to its former owner or his heirs when a grant, esp a grant for the lifetime of the grantee, comes to an end
revert to type to resume characteristics that were thought to have disappeared

noun (ˈriːˌvɜːt)

a person who, having been converted, has returned to his former beliefs or Church
Derived Formsreverter, nounrevertible, adjective

Word Origin for revert

C13: from Latin revertere to return, from re- + vertere to turn


Since back is part of the meaning of revert, one should not say that someone reverts back to a certain type of behaviour
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 reverted



c.1300, "to come to oneself again," from Old French revertir "return, change back," from Vulgar Latin *revertire, variant of Latin revertere "turn back, turn about; come back, return," from re- "back" (see re-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Of position or property from mid-15c.; application to customs and ideas is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for reverted




To return to a former condition, practice, subject, or belief.
To undergo genetic reversion.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.