averse

adjective
\ə-ˈvərs \

Definition of averse 

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

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Other Words from averse

aversely adverb
averseness noun

Synonyms for averse

Synonyms

allergic, antipathetic

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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

But car-averse New Yorkers may not even be the target audience, as Dill says this plan is designed to move people away from owning cars. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Uber and Lyft unveiled new subscription plans. But are they really worth the money?," 31 Oct. 2018 Milanese aristocratic families are notoriously averse to showing off their possessions, privacy being of utmost importance here, ingrained in a culture of elegant discretion. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "Swarovski Hosts a Party for the Book of Dreams in a Fantastical Setting," 21 Sep. 2018 That’s not to say the automaker isn’t averse to working with others named Alexa or Siri. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "BMW is the latest automaker to introduce its own in-car voice assistant," 6 Sep. 2018 John Feeley, the Ambassador to Panama and a former Marine helicopter pilot, is not averse to strong language, but he was nevertheless startled by his first encounter with President Donald Trump. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration," 19 May 2018 And yet, the notoriously firing-averse Trump doesn't even appear to want to end the charade himself. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump all but kills Ronny Jackson’s ill-considered VA nomination with one final spectacle," 24 Apr. 2018 Families and older people are especially averse to barstools, consultants and chefs say. Alina Dizik, WSJ, "Pull Up a Stool: Restaurants Squeeze in More Seats," 4 July 2018 Next to opera, every other performing art looks like a bargain, which is why many American opera companies have earned the unenviable reputation of being notoriously risk-averse. Paul Hodgins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Opera NEO blazes new trails on a shoestring, focusing on education and unpredictability," 1 July 2018 The Championship side, now managed by Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, are quite averse to selling their player, who is considered a hero amongst the supporters. SI.com, "Brighton Make Shock Bid for Former England Goalkeeper as Chris Hughton Eyes Defensive Reinforcements," 6 July 2018

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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Statistics for averse

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for averse

The first known use of averse was in 1597

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More Definitions for averse

averse

adjective
\ə-ˈvərs \

Kids Definition of averse

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on averse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with averse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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