Definition of adverse
Examples of adverse in a sentence
The Bankruptcy Code requires that debtor's counsel be disinterested and not have an interest adverse to the estate. —Lawyers Weekly USA, 4 Oct. 1999
On more than one occasion his decrees provoked riots, and there were those who voiced adverse opinions on the Duke in public. —Alison Weir, The Princes in the Tower, 1992
The plant tolerates adverse conditions … —Dave Dunn, Fine Gardening, January/February 1991
all the adverse publicity really caused the movie star's popularity to suffer
the adverse effects of the drug are too severe to allow it to be marketed
adverse vs. averse
If you want to describe a negative reaction to something (such as a harmful side effect from medication) or dangerous meteorological conditions (such as a snowstorm), adverse is the correct choice; you would not say that you had an averse reaction to medication or that there was averse weather.
Averse is most commonly followed by the preposition to (as in "she is averse to shellfish"), but not in every case; you can, for example, describe someone as “risk averse." Normally, averse to signifies a degree of dislike and avoidance, but when preceded by the word not (as in “he was not averse to having another drink”), it may be used as a pointedly understated way to express an interest in something.
In short, adverse tends to be used to describe effects, conditions, and results; while averse refers to feelings and inclinations.
Origin and Etymology of adverse
Middle English, from Anglo-French advers, from Latin adversus, past participle of advertere —see 1advert
First Known Use: 14th century
ADVERSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of adverse for English Language Learners
: bad or unfavorable : not good
ADVERSE Defined for Kids
Definition of adverse for Students
1 : acting against or in an opposite direction adverse winds
2 : not helping or favoring adverse circumstances
adverselyadverb Bad weather adversely affected attendance at the fair.
Legal Definition of adverse
: opposed to one's interests : operating to one's detriment an adverse verdict
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up adverse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).