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

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 This is particularly significant since public universities tend to be risk averse. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Sean Miller's Statement Takes the Fight to ESPN: Is a Lawsuit the Next Step?," 1 Mar. 2018 These days, Rubio has a lot more options but remains averse to the clutter that comes with holding onto excess. Vogue, "Away’s Jet-Setting Cofounder Packs Like a Pro, Shops on the Go," 15 Mar. 2019 Most progressive ideas tend to be either cheap, but therefore small-bore and a little weird, or bold and clear but expensive, in a country that remains averse to taxation. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Top House Democrats join Elizabeth Warren’s push to fundamentally change American capitalism," 14 Dec. 2018 The middle-aged workers who are most affected tend to be passive and risk-averse. The Economist, "Russia will raise pension ages that date back to Stalin," 30 June 2018 After getting Toronto's centers into foul trouble in the first half by constantly getting into the paint, Milwaukee looked averse to going inside during much of the third quarter. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Raptors 129, Bucks 110: Torched in the third quarter in blowout," 5 Jan. 2018 For the snail-averse, bee-venom masks offer an appealing alternative. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "What Snail Mucus Says About Beauty Trends," 26 Dec. 2018 In this op-ed, A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez explores why Black people see more averse to alternative menstrual management methods, like the menstrual cup. Teen Vogue, "Period Taboo and Menstrual Cups in the Black Community," 15 Nov. 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

9 May 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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