perverse

adjective
per·​verse | \ (ˌ)pər-ˈvərs How to pronounce perverse (audio) , ˈpər-ˌvərs \

Definition of perverse

1a : turned away from what is right or good : corrupt
c : contrary to the evidence or the direction of the judge on a point of law perverse verdict
2a : obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted : wrongheaded
b : arising from or indicative of stubbornness or obstinacy
3 : marked by peevishness or petulance : cranky
4 : marked by perversion

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Other Words from perverse

perversely adverb
perverseness noun
perversity \ pər-​ˈvər-​sə-​tē How to pronounce perverse (audio) , -​stē \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for perverse

contrary, perverse, restive, balky, wayward mean inclined to resist authority or control. contrary implies a temperamental unwillingness to accept orders or advice. a contrary child perverse may imply wrongheaded, determined, or cranky opposition to what is reasonable or normal. a perverse, intractable critic restive suggests unwillingness or inability to submit to discipline or follow orders. tired soldiers growing restive balky suggests a refusing to proceed in a desired direction or course of action. a balky witness wayward suggests strong-willed capriciousness and irregularity in behavior. a school for wayward youths

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?
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Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps the one thing that sets the entertainment industry apart from others is its perverse system of advancement. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Why Hollywood keeps enabling abusive movie moguls, even after #MeToo," 7 Apr. 2021 In many jurisdictions, being above a certain weight enables one to get the coronavirus vaccine sooner, creating a perverse incentive to remain unfit. Jack Butler, National Review, "We Must Escape the COVID-Obesity Trap," 4 Apr. 2021 Yet his policies have created perverse incentives for vulnerable migrants to enter the U.S. in dangerous ways. Jillian Kay Melchior, WSJ, "Biden’s Border Crisis, Up Close," 29 Mar. 2021 What was particularly perverse is that Asian Americans were also freely sidelined in material about Asianness. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "What Was the Asian American Character Actor?," 26 Mar. 2021 China’s threat to limit the export of rare earths which are essential in a range of technologies, including weapons systems, is starting to have a predictably perverse effect which is pointing to a supply glut and price crash. Tim Treadgold, Forbes, "China Shoots Itself In The Rare Earth Foot; Again!," 3 Mar. 2021 Times are bad, which means, by the perverse logic of American capitalism, stock markets and speculative investments are flourishing. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "The Accused Fraudster Behind the Bitcoin Boom," 1 Jan. 2021 Supporters of the farm laws argue the support prices had created perverse incentives to grow water-guzzling, environmentally unsustainable crops. Arunabh Saikia, Quartz, "Six months and counting: Where is India’s farmer protest headed?," 2 Mar. 2021 The risks are profound, and the incentives are decidedly perverse. Alex Hanna, Wired, "Timnit Gebru’s Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI," 31 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of perverse

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for perverse

Middle English, from Anglo-French purvers, pervers, from Latin perversus, from past participle of pervertere

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Time Traveler for perverse

Time Traveler

The first known use of perverse was in the 14th century

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Statistics for perverse

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perverse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perverse. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for perverse

perverse

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of perverse

: wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive

perverse

adjective
per·​verse | \ pər-ˈvərs How to pronounce perverse (audio) \

Kids Definition of perverse

1 : stubborn in being against what is right or sensible
2 : wrong especially in a way that is strange or offensive

perverse

adjective
per·​verse | \ pər-ˈvərs How to pronounce perverse (audio) \

Medical Definition of perverse

: being, relating to, or characterized by perversion perverse sexual behavior

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Comments on perverse

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