adversity

noun
ad·​ver·​si·​ty | \ ad-ˈvər-sə-tē How to pronounce adversity (audio) \
plural adversities

Definition of adversity

: a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune showing courage in the face of adversity

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Synonyms & Antonyms for adversity

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for adversity

misfortune, mischance, adversity, mishap mean adverse fortune or an instance of this. misfortune may apply to either the incident or conjunction of events that is the cause of an unhappy change of fortune or to the ensuing state of distress. never lost hope even in the depths of misfortune mischance applies especially to a situation involving no more than slight inconvenience or minor annoyance. took the wrong road by mischance adversity applies to a state of grave or persistent misfortune. had never experienced great adversity mishap applies to an often trivial instance of bad luck. the usual mishaps of a family vacation

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Adversity, "mischance," "misfortune," and "mishap" all suggest difficulty of one sort or another. "Adversity" particularly applies to a state of grave or persistent misfortune (as in "a childhood marked by great adversity"). "Mishap" suggests an often trivial instance of bad luck (as in "the usual mishaps of a family vacation"). "Misfortune" is the most common and the most general of the terms, often functioning as a simple synonym of "bad luck" (as in "They had the misfortune to get a flat tire on the way to their wedding"). "Mischance" applies especially to a situation involving no more than slight inconvenience or minor annoyance (as in "Some small mischance befell us").

Examples of adversity in a Sentence

After two years of research, I discovered that everyone has a crisis personality survivor IQ—that they marshal in a moment of adversity: a mindset and ways of thinking about a situation. — Ben Sherwood, Newsweek, 2 Feb. 2009 Perhaps because their brains are wired differently, dyslexics are often skilled problem solvers, coming at solutions from novel or surprising angles and making conceptual leaps.  … It may also be that their early struggle with reading better prepares them for dealing with adversity in a volatile, fast-changing world. — Christine Gorman, Time, 28 July 2003 High school, college and even NFL teams have been getting a quick morale boost by going to see Remember the Titans, the schmaltzy but uplifting story about (what else?) a football squad overcoming adversity. Sports Illustrated, 6 Nov. 2000 The narrative plot is clearly defined, and it is classically familiar: Huck (without Jim) and Tom Sawyer light out for unknown territory to discover their manhood by successfully confronting the harsh adversities of life. — John W. Aldridge, Atlantic, August 1994 He showed courage in the face of adversity. We had to learn to deal with adversity.
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Recent Examples on the Web Trojans backers who have their eye on Fickell should hope for just a wee little bit of adversity to befall the Bearcats in the coming weeks. Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2021 The Cardinals overcame their fair share of adversity, though, rallied behind their leaders and kept battling for a 31-19 victory to remain unbeaten at 3-0. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 27 Sep. 2021 In the face of adversity, this marketplace keeps moving forward with new ideas and projects. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 But Demi is somebody who possesses this immense power and talent and has had such a long successful career, but has also experienced an incredible amount of adversity in their personal life. Marcus Jones, EW.com, 23 Sep. 2021 As the county begins to clean up, the sheriff's office commended residents for their strength in the face of adversity. Julia Musto, Fox News, 27 Aug. 2021 The goal and win capped off a two-game run in which the Thorns faced plenty of adversity. Portland Timbers And Thorns Fc, oregonlive, 27 Aug. 2021 With as much talent and experience that resides in the UAB secondary, the road back to the top of the depth chart is a testament to Thomas’ work ethic and perseverance in the face of adversity. Evan Dudley, al, 26 Aug. 2021 Over the past few years, Felix has experienced her share of adversity. Taylor Dutc, SELF, 26 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adversity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adversity

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adversity

Middle English adversite "opposition, hostility, misfortune, hardship," borrowed from Anglo-French adversité, aversité, borrowed from Late Latin adversitāt-, adversitās (Latin, "power of counteracting"), from Latin adversus adverse + -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Time Traveler for adversity

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The first known use of adversity was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near adversity

adverse yaw

adversity

adversive

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Statistics for adversity

Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adversity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adversity. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for adversity

adversity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of adversity

: a difficult situation or condition : misfortune or tragedy

adversity

noun
ad·​ver·​si·​ty | \ ad-ˈvər-sə-tē How to pronounce adversity (audio) \
plural adversities

Kids Definition of adversity

: hard times : misfortune Despite the adversity of his childhood, he achieved great success.

More from Merriam-Webster on adversity

Nglish: Translation of adversity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adversity for Arabic Speakers

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