averse

play
adjective \ə-ˈvərs\

Definition of averse

  1. :  having an active feeling of repugnance or distaste —usually used with to <He seems to be averse to strenuous exercise.>

aversely

adverb

averseness

noun

Examples of averse in a sentence

  1. <I'm not averse to broccoli if it's cooked right.>

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.

Origin and Etymology of averse

Latin aversus, past participle of avertere —see avert


First Known Use: 1597

Synonym Discussion of 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>.


AVERSE Defined for Kids

averse

play
adjective \ə-ˈvərs\

Definition of averse for Students

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up averse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

related through a mother

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • m-ws-new-words-quiz
  • Which word means "inability to recognize faces"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ