inversion

noun

in·​ver·​sion in-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce inversion (audio)
-shən
plural inversions
1
: a reversal of position, order, form, or relationship: such as
a(1)
: a change in normal word order
especially : the placement of a verb before its subject
(2)
: the process or result of changing or reversing the relative positions of the notes of a musical interval, chord, or phrase
b
: the condition of being turned inward or inside out
c
: a breaking off of a chromosome section and its subsequent reattachment in inverted position
also : a chromosomal section that has undergone this process
2
: the act or process of inverting
3
a
: a change in the order of the terms of a mathematical proportion effected by inverting each ratio
b
: the operation of forming the inverse of a magnitude, a function, an operation, or an element
4
a
: the conversion of dextrorotatory sucrose into a levorotatory mixture of glucose and fructose
b
: a change from one stereochemical figuration at a chiral center in a usually organic molecule to the opposite configuration that is brought about by a reaction in which a substitution of one group is made for a different group
5
: an increase of temperature with height through a layer of air
6
: a corporate reorganization in which a U.S. corporation merges with or acquires a foreign corporation and restructures the U.S. corporation as a subsidiary of the newly created multinational company for the purpose of establishing a domicile in a foreign country and taking advantage of the country's corporate tax structure
U.S. businesses are buying foreign companies in countries with lower tax rates so they can switch their legal home and cut their tax bills. The process, known as inversion, is the hottest trend in mergers and acquisitions, driving some of the biggest takeovers this year.Tom Fairless and Shayndi Raice
7
dated : homosexuality
also : identification with the gender role of the opposite sex

Examples of inversion in a Sentence

an inversion of the roles of parent and child Inversion of the two words changes the meaning of the sentence.
Recent Examples on the Web The team designed an inversion algorithm able to convert the readings from the light sensor into a 32 x 32 pixel image that captured the region just above the display. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Jan. 2024 Know the Other Side’s Arguments Munger cautioned against having an opinion unless you are fully educated on all sides of the issue, which is a specific application of the concept of inversion. John Jennings, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 For some forecasters, the inversion of the yield curve has been a sure sign a recession is coming. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 13 Dec. 2023 This inversion of figure and ground, also evident in the work of Holt, Mendieta, and Albuquerque, is the essential turn from land art to environmental art. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Part of the blame for Delhi’s winter smog also lies with an atmospheric phenomenon called inversion. WIRED, 13 Nov. 2023 In the human world, an inversion of success If solid ground is an illusion in Florida, so too is the political landscape, especially for the average citizen. Time, 12 July 2023 This inversion makes Bedford Falls a lot more like its spiritual predecessor, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Jack Butler, National Review, 25 Dec. 2023 Munger’s insight is that inversion is robust beyond mathematics; thinking is clarified by considering issues both forward and backward. John Jennings, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inversion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inversion was in 1546

Dictionary Entries Near inversion

Cite this Entry

“Inversion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inversion. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

inversion

noun
in·​ver·​sion in-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce inversion (audio)
-shən
1
: a reversal of position, order, or relationship
2
: the act or process of inverting
3
: increase of temperature of the air with increasing altitude

Medical Definition

inversion

noun
in·​ver·​sion in-ˈvər-zhən, -shən How to pronounce inversion (audio)
1
: a reversal of position, order, form, or relationship: as
a
: a dislocation of a bodily structure in which it is turned partially or wholly inside out
inversion of the uterus
b
: the condition (as of the foot) of being turned or rotated inward compare eversion sense 2
d
: a breaking off of a chromosome section and its subsequent reattachment in inverted position
also : a chromosomal section that has undergone this process
2
a
: the conversion of dextrorotatory sucrose into a levorotatory mixture of glucose and fructose
b
: a change from one stereochemical figuration at a chiral center in a usually organic molecule to the opposite configuration that is brought about by a reaction in which a substitution of one group is made for a different group
3
dated : homosexuality

Legal Definition

inversion

noun
in·​ver·​sion in-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce inversion (audio)
: a corporate reorganization in which a U.S. corporation buys or merges with a foreign corporation and is restructured as a subsidiary of the newly created multinational company in order to establish a domicile in a foreign country with lower corporate taxes

called also corporate inversion, tax inversion

More from Merriam-Webster on inversion

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