Definition of perverse
2a : obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted : wrongheadedb : arising from or indicative of stubbornness or obstinacy
3 : marked by peevishness or petulance : cranky
4 : marked by perversion
perversityplay \pər-ˈvər-sə-tē, -stē\ noun
Examples of perverse in a Sentence
their perverse cruelty to animals
She has a perverse fascination with death.
He seems to take perverse pleasure in making things as difficult as possible.
His friends all enjoy his perverse sense of humor.
Is this some kind of perverse joke?
Recent Examples of perverse from the Web
Patten said the officers seemed to take a perverse pleasure in such abuse.
For him there's nothing perverse in indulging in this primeval delight.
Part of the reason lay in the perverse economic competition between different schools, which offered a host of new student services and amenities in order to attract more paying customers.
The company’s involvement with such groups in Brazil presents a particularly dark picture of the perverse incentives propelling orphan drug sales.
Once a grueling testament of materialistic dedication, waiting days in line has become some sort of perverse entertainment.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perverse'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of perverse
Middle English, from Anglo-French purvers, pervers, from Latin perversus, from past participle of pervertere
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of perverse
PERVERSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of perverse for English Language Learners
: wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive
PERVERSE Defined for Kids
Definition of perverse for Students
1 : stubborn in being against what is right or sensible
2 : wrong especially in a way that is strange or offensive
Seen and Heard
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