\ ə-ˈvərs How to pronounce averse (audio) \

Definition of averse

: having an active feeling of repugnance, dislike, or distaste usually used with toShe was not averse to taking chances.He seems to be averse to strenuous exercise. commonly used in compounds both with and without a hyphena conservative risk-averse investora crowd averse teen

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Other Words from averse

aversely adverb
averseness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for averse

disinclined, hesitant, reluctant, loath, averse mean lacking the will or desire to do something indicated. disinclined implies lack of taste for or inclination. disinclined to move again disinclined for reading hesitant implies a holding back especially through fear or uncertainty. hesitant about asking for a date reluctant implies a holding back through unwillingness. a reluctant witness loath implies hesitancy because of conflict with one's opinions, predilections, or liking. seems loath to trust anyone averse implies a holding back from or avoiding because of distaste or repugnance. averse to hard work not averse to an occasional drink

Adverse vs. Averse

Many people find themselves confused when faced with the choice between adverse and averse. While these two adjectives have many similarities, they are not used interchangeably.

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.

Examples of averse in a Sentence

I'm not averse to broccoli if it's cooked right.
Recent Examples on the Web Even Germany, averse to deficits, pledged to spend whatever is needed to combat the economic impact. Dara Doyle, Bloomberg.com, "Europe Recession Inevitable as Last Line of Defense Crumbles," 12 May 2020 If umpires are especially averse to calling ball four or strike three, that will almost certainly alter how hitters and pitchers approach pitches in those counts. Keith Law, Wired, "Human Fallibility and the Case for Robot Baseball Umpires," 1 May 2020 The Spectator’s Deborah Ross may take the prize for being the most averse to bushwa of any movie critic in the language. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The (Other) Greatest Magazine in the English-Speaking World," 23 Apr. 2020 This isn't something former CEO Steve Jobs was known for, but Apple's current lineup seems to suggest Tim Cook is not so averse to that approach to product development. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Why Apple has stopped making small phones—and why it should start again," 18 Apr. 2020 Moreover, markets are short-sighted and risk averse—and the market mechanisms for looking into the future and managing risks are very deficient. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Time, "Why Our Affluent Society is Facing Shortages in the Face of the Coronavirus Pandemic?," 27 Mar. 2020 As was shown at the event in Brazil, holding a show behind closed doors is not something White is averse to doing. Glen Levy And Don Riddell, CNN, "UFC president Dana White on coronavirus: 'I've never seen anything like this in my lifetime'," 19 Mar. 2020 There are a lot of people in our area who are averse to the risk. oregonlive, "Some short-term vacation rentals, hotels pushing to reopen on Oregon coast," 2 May 2020 The team is averse to dealing its first-round draft selection for a second consecutive year for multiple reasons. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Jerry Jones: Here’s why it’s ‘highly unlikely’ Dallas Cowboys trade away first-round NFL draft pick," 22 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'averse.' 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 averse

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for averse

Latin aversus, past participle of avertere — see avert

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Time Traveler for averse

Time Traveler

The first known use of averse was in 1597

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Statistics for averse

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Averse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/averse. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for averse


\ ə-ˈvərs How to pronounce averse (audio) \

Kids Definition of averse

: having a feeling of dislike He is averse to exercise.

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More from Merriam-Webster on averse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for averse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with averse

Spanish Central: Translation of averse

Nglish: Translation of averse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of averse for Arabic Speakers

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