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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from averse

aversely adverb
averseness noun

Synonyms for averse

Synonyms

allergic, antipathetic

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 But this optimism underestimated how reform-averse Europe can be. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Euro’s Next 20 Years," 30 Dec. 2018 This wasn’t a matter of change-averse veterans pining for the good old days; Destiny 2 had unquestionably lost whatever magic kept Destiny hobbyists around for hundreds—even thousands—of hours. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "Destiny 2: Forsaken review: Hallelujah, Destiny’s back," 19 Sep. 2018 The club has so far failed to attract a prize that Trump covets: the British Open, a landmark tournament awarded by the tweedy, risk-averse inner circle of British golf. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Toothless trade resolution demonstrates Congress’s unwillingness to check Trump," 12 July 2018 Risk-averse people who have the means to sock away some cash are now able to earn a decent — if not exactly generous — guaranteed return from bank savings, money market, and CD accounts. Katheleen Conti, BostonGlobe.com, "Banks are offering higher interest rates for savings accounts. But you still need to be smart," 11 July 2018 These days, especially in the years since Carlos Silva’s retirement, baseball’s most walk-averse pitchers tend to be some of its best. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: The Yankees' Greatest Need, Unlikely All-Stars and Midsummer Classic Changes," 11 June 2018 For the water-averse, hiking trails reach into the woods, where berry-picking and bird-watching are encouraged. Simon Peter Groebner, chicagotribune.com, "Come sail away at this fun northern Minnesota resort on Lake Vermilion," 6 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.

See More

First Known Use of averse

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for averse

Latin aversus, past participle of avertere — see avert

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about averse

Statistics for averse

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for averse

The first known use of averse was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on averse

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

a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!