aver·​sion | \ ə-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce aversion (audio) , -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

Davis learned the hard way that risk aversion is the riskiest political approach when voters recalled him in 2003 for bollixing energy and budget crises. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: Can Kamala Harris break California’s presidential jinx?," 1 Sep. 2019 Without ideological bias, though marked by an aversion to all exhortations to hatred, the diary consists almost exclusively of straightforward reports about three crucial phenomena—news, rumor and propaganda. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘A Chill in the Air’ Review: A Tuscan Idyll Before the War," 30 Aug. 2018 Millennials are famous for their aversion to speaking on the phone. Katerina Manoff, The Atlantic, "How They (Online Graduate Programs) Get You," 14 Aug. 2019 But the country with a now-deeply ingrained aversion to war and military expenditures has fallen far short of its 2014 pledge to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to raise defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. Los Angeles Times, "U.S. envoy warns Germany: Pay more or risk losing protection," 9 Aug. 2019 But firms’ aversion to increasing prices may be as much a consequence of limp inflation as a contributor to it. The Economist, "Prices for many goods do not move the way economists think they should," 8 Aug. 2019 Social scientists and philosophers have long noted people’s aversion to otherness of any kind, and the ubiquitous tendency to scapegoat and persecute minorities that differed from one’s own group in race, ethnicity or religion. Arie Kruglanski, The Conversation, "Are Syrian refugees a danger to the West?," 19 July 2019 But McCarthy, a staunch Trump ally, said the president's aversion to Omar is based on ideology, not race. Author: Zeke Miller, Alan Fram, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump says not happy with backers’ ‘send her back’ chant," 18 July 2019 Demand for cold storage is also being elevated by consumers’ growing aversion to chemical food preservatives. Roger Vincent, latimes.com, "All that online grocery shopping is causing a cold storage shortage," 7 July 2019

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

13 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce aversion (audio) \

Kids Definition of aversion

1 : a strong dislike
2 : something strongly disliked


aver·​sion | \ ə-ˈvər-zhən, -shən How to pronounce aversion (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on aversion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aversion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aversion

Spanish Central: Translation of aversion

Nglish: Translation of aversion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aversion for Arabic Speakers

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).


agony, or difficult or painful work

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