adjective re·verse \ri-ˈvərs\

: opposite to what is usual or stated

: opposite to the front

Full Definition of REVERSE

a :  opposite or contrary to a previous or normal condition <reverse order>
b (1) :  having the back presented to the observer or opponent
(2) :  made with one's back to the basketball net <a reverse layup>
:  coming from the rear of a military force
:  acting, operating, or arranged in a manner contrary to the usual
:  effecting reverse movement <reverse gear>
:  so made that the part which normally prints in color appears white against a colored background
re·verse·ly adverb

Examples of REVERSE

  1. Can you say the alphabet in reverse order?
  2. The drug is used to lower blood pressure but may have the reverse effect in some patients.

Origin of REVERSE

Middle English revers, from Anglo-French, from Latin reversus, past participle of revertere to turn back — more at revert
First Known Use: 14th century



: to change (something) to an opposite state or condition

: to cause (something, such as a process) to stop or return to an earlier state

: to change the order or position of (two things or a series)


Full Definition of REVERSE

transitive verb
a :  to turn completely about in position or direction
b :  to turn upside down :  invert
c :  to cause to take an opposite point of view <reversed herself on the issue>
:  negate, undo: as
a :  to overthrow, set aside, or make void (a legal decision) by a contrary decision
b :  to change to the contrary <reverse a policy>
c :  to undo or negate the effect of (as a condition or surgical operation) <had his vasectomy reversed>
:  to cause to go in the opposite direction; especially :  to cause (as an engine) to perform its action in the opposite direction
intransitive verb
:  to turn or move in the opposite direction <the count's waltzing … consisted … of reversing at top speed — Agatha Christie>
:  to put a mechanism (as an engine) in reverse
re·vers·er noun
reverse field or reverse one's field
:  to make a sudden reversal in direction or opinion

Examples of REVERSE

  1. The runners reversed their direction on the track.
  2. There is no way to reverse the aging process.
  3. Can anything reverse the trend toward higher prices?
  4. Reverse the i and e in recieve to spell receive correctly.
  5. My mother and I reversed our roles. Now I'm taking care of her.
  6. We're going to reverse our usual order and start with Z.

First Known Use of REVERSE

14th century

Synonym Discussion of REVERSE

reverse, transpose, invert mean to change to the opposite position. reverse is the most general term and may imply change in order, side, direction, meaning <reversed his position on the trade agreement>. transpose implies a change in order or relative position of units often through exchange of position <transposed the letters to form an anagram>. invert applies chiefly to turning upside down or inside out <a stamp with an inverted picture of an airplane>.



the reverse : something that is opposite to something else

the reverse : the back side of a coin, document, etc.

: a change that makes something worse

Full Definition of REVERSE

:  something directly contrary to something else :  opposite
:  an act or instance of reversing; especially :  defeat, setback <suffered financial reverses>
:  the back part of something; especially :  the side of a coin or currency note that is opposite the obverse
a (1) :  a gear that reverses something; also :  the whole mechanism brought into play when such a gear is used (2) :  movement in reverse
b :  an offensive play in football in which a back moving in one direction gives the ball to a player moving in the opposite direction
in reverse
:  in an opposite manner or direction

Examples of REVERSE

  1. The building appears on the reverse of the coin.
  2. Please sign your name on the reverse.
  3. I put the car in reverse and backed out of the garage.

First Known Use of REVERSE

14th century

Other Monetary Terms

clad, legend, numismatic, obverse, scrip, series, specie


transitive verb re·verse \ri-ˈvərs\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of REVERSE

:  to change drastically or completely the course or effect of: as a :  to initiate recovery from <reverse a disease> b :  to make of no effect or as if not done <reverse a surgical procedure>


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