Definition of adversity
: a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune showing courage in the face of adversity
adversity was our Word of the Day on 11/28/2007. Hear the podcast!
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.
Did You Know?
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").
Origin and Etymology of adversity
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of adversity
ADVERSITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of adversity for English Language Learners
: a difficult situation or condition : misfortune or tragedy
ADVERSITY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up adversity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).