ad·​ver·​sa·​tive əd-ˈvər-sə-tiv How to pronounce adversative (audio)
: expressing antithesis, opposition, or adverse circumstance
the adversative conjunction but
adversative noun
adversatively adverb

Word History


Middle English adversatyf, borrowed from Late Latin adversātīvus, from Latin adversātus, past participle of adversārī "to act contrary to, oppose" (derivative of adversus adverse) + -īvus -ive

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adversative was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near adversative

Cite this Entry

“Adversative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!