averse

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

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

Instead, the normally media-averse Prince Harry stepped outside to gush to the reporters, and even answer questions briefly, before the proud papa headed back inside. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Baby Sussex Is About to Have Some Seriously VIP Visitors," 7 May 2019 And in risk-averse Hollywood, that means the film’s reception has huge implications for Asian and Asian-American actors and filmmakers in all kinds of genres. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Crazy Rich Asians is a dazzling, sumptuous success," 18 Aug. 2018 What this demonstrates is that people who lived a million years would tend to be very risk-averse! Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘When Probability Meets Real Life’," 2 Mar. 2018 These power plays produced a film that for its own part seemed strikingly averse to manipulation or force. Max Nelson, Harper's magazine, "The All-Seeing Eye," 10 June 2019 During volatile periods investors grow more risk-averse. Stacey Cunningham, WSJ, "We’re Suing the SEC to Protect the Stock Market," 14 Feb. 2019 Nonetheless, Gisin is not averse to thinking that maybe, one day, the experiment could be done using complex quantum computers as the agents inside the labs (acting as Alice’s friend and Bob’s friend). Quanta Magazine, "New Quantum Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong," 3 Dec. 2018 Under Dorsey, who took over in January, Cleveland’s moves included a one-year contract to quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who as a turnover-averse, mobile veteran is from the mold of Alex Smith, a 2013 addition of Dorsey’s for the Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "L.A. weather rains on Sam Darnold's parade — and that's good," 21 Mar. 2018 Hezbollah is emerging from Syria’s civil war with thousands of its fighters killed and wounded and is averse to another military adventure with Israel. Josef Federman, The Seattle Times, "Israeli operation targets Hezbollah cross-border tunnels," 3 Dec. 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

4 Jul 2019

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 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

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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