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

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 This elegant dish might convert the most beet-averse among you. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Food Market still draws crowds, delivers imaginative fare in Hampden," 31 May 2018 Yet the United States is among the world's most touch-averse cultures. Author: Tara Bahrampour, Anchorage Daily News, "Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.," 20 Apr. 2018 Yet the United States is among the world’s most touch-averse cultures. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.," 20 Apr. 2018 Yet the United States is among the world's most touch-averse cultures. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Some people are paying for cuddles. And it's not what you might think.," 20 Apr. 2018 Besieged by upstarts and titans alike, even the most change-averse organizations are being forced to adapt to this threat. Rita E. Numerof, STAT, "Microhospitals and healthplexes offer a peek at the future of health care," 10 Apr. 2018 Yet the system is averse to change because so many of its key players continue to profit from its complexity and lack of transparency. Jared S. Hopkins And Andrew Martin, chicagotribune.com, "When Chicago's 'pharma bros' show up, drug prices can go through the roof," 6 Apr. 2018 Is Musk trying to distract us from the troubling aspects of his companies, or are the doubters just the kind of shortsighted, risk-averse people Musk believes are holding us all back from a fantastic future? Fortune, "Elon Musk Shoots for Mars — And Strains His Balance Sheet," 20 June 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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Phrases Related to averse

averse to

Statistics for averse

Last Updated

10 Oct 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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Comments on averse

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to reject or criticize sharply

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