aver·sion | \ə-ˈvər-zhən, -shən\

Definition of aversion 

1a : a feeling of repugnance toward something with a desire to avoid or turn from it regards drunkenness with aversion

b : a settled dislike : antipathy expressed an aversion to parties

c : a tendency to extinguish a behavior or to avoid a thing or situation and especially a usually pleasurable one because it is or has been associated with a noxious stimulus

2 : an object of dislike or aversion "Of all things inconstancy is my aversion."— Jane Austen

3 obsolete : the act of turning away

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Examples of aversion in a Sentence

Diners who want to reduce the size of their environmental footprint might reassess their aversion to bugs, DeFoliart says. — Janet Raloff, Science News, 7 June 2008 A 16-year Monitor veteran with no previous combat experience, Tyson said she has yet to start reading newspapers on a regular basis because of her aversion to war news and does not like talking about it yet. — Joe Strupp, Editor & Publisher, 21 Apr. 2003 The answer was revealing in many ways. It showed his dark humor, aversion to sentimentality, keen understanding of the role that realism must play in a messy world, and somewhat less keen appreciation for the role that morality plays in sustaining a democracy's foreign policy. — Walter Isaacson, New Republic, 16 Dec. 2002 They regarded war with aversion. I simply have this ingrained aversion to the sight of bloodshed.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Or was there fear in their silence — an aversion to risk, a conditional bargain, a negotiation of face? Catherine Cusick, Longreads, "Men, Too: A Speech and a Sermon," 11 Jan. 2018 That aversion to change is especially true for the home-building industry. Fortune, "Hurricane-Proof Homes Exist — Why Isn't Anyone Buying Them?," 20 June 2018 In the ’90s as now, all humorless old people knew that the best way to impede an album’s popularity was to be very offended by it (ha) — and, as such, ’90s hip hop was also largely defined by the older generations’ aversion. Rebecca Schuman, Longreads, "It’s Like This and Like That and Like What?," 2 May 2018 The Los Angeles Times’ aversion to printing news that reflected poorly on the GOP was so great, the paper declined to report the outcome of the 1884 presidential election for days after Grover Cleveland’s victory. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "‘Baby Breitbarts’ Might Be the Future of Local Newspapers," 1 May 2018 Callous disregard for the will of the people, ongoing lip service to reform advocates, perpetual aversion to transformative change, and institutional unwillingness to act in any interest other than its own. John Baer, Philly.com, "Two Pa. House and Senate leaders (sorta) defend our lackluster legislature | John Baer," 1 July 2018 Other Republicans are more explicitly citing an aversion to rebuking Trump — no matter that his tariffs gore decades of conservative orthodoxy on free trade and are translating to near-term pain for some key constituencies. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Free-trade Republican lawmakers mount revolt against Trump tariffs," 7 June 2018 But the Astell Island quolls behaved the same regardless of the box, showing no aversion to the scents of the predators, the researchers report today in Biology Letters. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "This endangered Australian marsupial was set to make a comeback—until it stopped fearing wild dogs," 5 June 2018 His aversion to the dirty tasks of politics culminated in the moment during the 2016 campaign when U.S. intelligence about Russian meddling on behalf of Trump reached the Oval Office. George Packer, The New Yorker, "Witnessing the Obama Presidency, from Start to Finish," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aversion.' 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 aversion

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for aversion

see averse

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Learn More about aversion

Statistics for aversion

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aversion

The first known use of aversion was in 1585

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More Definitions for aversion



English Language Learners Definition of aversion

: a strong feeling of not liking something


aver·sion | \ə-ˈvər-zhən \

Kids Definition of aversion

1 : a strong dislike

2 : something strongly disliked


aver·sion | \ə-ˈvər-zhən, -shən \

Medical Definition of aversion 

1 : a feeling of repugnance toward something with a desire to avoid or turn from it

2 : a tendency to extinguish a behavior or to avoid a thing or situation and especially a usually pleasurable one because it is or has been associated with a noxious stimulus conditioning of food aversions by drug injection

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Comments on aversion

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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