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obverse

adjective ob·verse \ äb-ˈvərs , əb- , ˈäb-ˌvərs \
Updated on: 25 Feb 2018

Definition of obverse

1 : facing the observer or opponent
2 : having the base narrower than the top
  • an obverse leaf
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

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

Definition of obverse

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

Recent Examples of obverse from the Web

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

First Known Use of obverse

1658

Other Monetary Terms


OBVERSE Defined for English Language Learners

obverse

Definition of obverse for English Language Learners

  • : something that is the opposite of something else



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