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obverse

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adjective ob·verse \äb-ˈvərs, əb-, ˈäb-ˌvərs\

Definition of obverse

  1. 1 :  facing the observer or opponent

  2. 2 :  having the base narrower than the top an obverse leaf

  3. 3 :  constituting the obverse of something :  opposite

obversely

adverb

obverse was our Word of the Day on 09/11/2015. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of obverse

Latin obversus, from past participle of obvertere to turn toward, from ob- toward + vertere to turn — more at ob-, worth

Other Monetary Terms


2

obverse

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noun ob·verse \ˈäb-ˌvərs, äb-ˈvərs, əb-ˈvərs\

Definition of obverse

  1. 1 :  the side of a coin or currency note bearing the chief device and lettering; broadly :  a front or principal surface

  2. 2 :  a counterpart having the opposite orientation or force their rise was merely the obverse of the Empire's fall — A. J. Toynbee; also :  opposite 1 joy and its obverse, sorrow

  3. 3 :  a proposition inferred immediately from another by denying the opposite of what the given proposition affirms the obverse of “all A is B” is “no A is not B” 

Examples of obverse in a Sentence

  1. joy and its obverse, sadness

  2. We thought they would be pleased with our decision. We have learned, however, that the obverse is true.

Did You Know?

Heads or tails? If you called heads, obverse is the word for you. Since the 17th century, we've been using obverse for the front side of coins (usually, the side depicting the head or bust of a ruler). The opposite of this sense of obverse is reverse, the back or "tails" side of a coin. Since the 19th century, obverse has also had the extended meaning "an opposing counterpart" or "opposite." Additionally, it can be an adjective meaning "facing the observer or opponent" or "being a counterpoint or complement."

First Known Use of obverse

1658

Other Monetary Terms


OBVERSE Defined for English Language Learners

obverse

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noun

Definition of obverse for English Language Learners

  • : something that is the opposite of something else



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