1 of 2


in·​verse (ˌ)in-ˈvərs How to pronounce inverse (audio)
: opposite in order, nature, or effect
: being an inverse function
inverse sine


2 of 2


: something of a contrary nature or quality : opposite, reverse
: a proposition or theorem formed by contradicting both the subject and predicate or both the hypothesis and conclusion of a given proposition or theorem
the inverse of "if A then B" is "if not-A then not-B"
compare contrapositive
: inverse function
also : an operation (such as subtraction) that undoes the effect of another operation
: a set element that is related to another element in such a way that the result of applying a given binary operation to them is an identity element of the set

Example Sentences

Adjective Addition and subtraction are inverse operations. Noun the inverse of your argument
Recent Examples on the Web
So, frequency and wavelength have an inverse relationship. Kevin Cortez, Popular Mechanics, 17 Feb. 2023 The paper above posits the inverse effect, where outbreeding results in greater outcomes than are to be expected based on the mid-parent trait value. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 7 July 2011 According to this author, who compared the popularity of violent video games over the years to youth violence levels in society over the last 20 years, there was actually an inverse correlation. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2014 Power and reliability live in inverse proportions, the same relationship reliability has with joy, adventure, and excitement. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, 11 Nov. 2022 Likewise, according to polls, the rise and fall of gas prices is directly inverse to public feelings about whether the country is heading down the right or wrong track. Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 31 Oct. 2022 This is an accomplished debut feature, its emotional rewards in inverse proportion to its scale. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Oct. 2022 Heat rash also tends to resolve in two to three days, while inverse psoriasis may be long-lasting, especially without treatment. Korin Miller, SELF, 10 Aug. 2022 Noah Igbinoghene and Trill Williams began their NFL careers from inverse positions despite playing the same position. Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel, 1 Aug. 2022
While still subverting the algorithmic mainstream, the Leaving Records and Floating series provides an inverse of the more raucous affairs that defined the recent past. Jeff Weiss, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2023 This is the inverse of a doomsday scenario that often comes up in artificial superintelligence theory. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2023 Tshiebwe's outing was an inverse of Reeves; the big man took control in the second half, scoring 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and knocking down all four of his free throws. Ryan Black, The Courier-Journal, 11 Feb. 2023 This expression has the ratio of h/s, which is just the inverse of the glide ratio. Rhett Allain, WIRED, 16 Dec. 2022 This is the precise inverse of how most museums work, which are custodians of past civilizations’ artifacts; our own legacy and our future past will affect and shape someone’s future. Dr. Patrick Noack, CNN, 2 Feb. 2023 In 2022, Tulane finished the season 11-2, a near inverse of a miserable 2-10 campaign from a season ago. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 15 Dec. 2022 One warning sign for investors: some analysts like to look at the gap between the S&P 500’s earnings yield --- the inverse of its price/earnings ratio – and the 10-year TIPS yield to gauge how much compensation investors are getting to hold stocks. WSJ, 15 Sep. 2022 The inverse of the well-trafficked book-to-film pipeline, the novelization of movies has been deployed as an extension of a film’s marketing campaign, or a commercial capitalization on a film’s success. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inverse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English, turned upside down, from Latin inversus, from past participle of invertere

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inverse was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near inverse

Cite this Entry

“Inverse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
in·​verse (ˈ)in-ˈvərs How to pronounce inverse (audio)
: opposite in order, nature, or effect
an inverse relationship between interest rates and houses sold
: being a mathematical operation opposite in effect to another
addition and subtraction are inverse operations


2 of 2 noun
: something inverse or resulting in or from inversion
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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