an·​i·​mad·​ver·​sion ˌa-nə-ˌmad-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce animadversion (audio)
: a critical and usually censorious remark
often used with on
: adverse criticism

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Animadversion Has Latin Roots

Animadversion comes ultimately from the Latin phrase animum advertere, meaning "to turn the mind to." The first part, anima, comes from the Latin word for "mind" or "soul" and gives us animal and animate. It is easy to see how we also get adverse and adversary from advertere, especially when we remember that "to turn to" easily becomes "to turn against." Other English words descended from advertere include advert, meaning "to turn the attention (to)" or "to make reference (to)," and advertise.

Word History


Latin animadversion-, animadversio, from animadvertere

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of animadversion was in 1583


Dictionary Entries Near animadversion

Cite this Entry

“Animadversion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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