Simple Definition of obverse
: something that is the opposite of something else
Full Definition of obverse
1 : the side of a coin or currency note bearing the chief device and lettering; broadly : a front or principal surface
2 : a counterpart having the opposite orientation or force <their rise was merely the obverse of the Empire's fall — A. J. Toynbee>; also : opposite 1 <joy and its obverse, sorrow>
3 : a proposition inferred immediately from another by denying the opposite of what the given proposition affirms <the obverse of “all A is B” is “no A is not B” >
Examples of obverse in a sentence
joy and its obverse, sadness
We thought they would be pleased with our decision. We have learned, however, that the obverse is true.
Did You Know?
Heads or tails? If you called heads, obverse is the word for you. Since the 17th century, we've been using obverse for the front side of coins (usually, the side depicting the head or bust of a ruler). The opposite of this sense of obverse is reverse, the back or "tails" side of a coin. Since the 19th century, obverse has also had the extended meaning "an opposing counterpart" or "opposite." Additionally, it can be an adjective meaning "facing the observer or opponent" or "being a counterpoint or complement."
First Known Use of obverse
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