per·​ver·​sion | \ pər-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce perversion (audio) , -shən \

Definition of perversion

1 : the action of perverting : the condition of being perverted
2 : a perverted form especially : an aberrant sexual practice or interest especially when habitual

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Examples of perversion in a Sentence

They fought against perversion of the health-care system. claimed that rap and rock music were responsible for the perversion of the nation's young people
Recent Examples on the Web The perversion of a scientific practice takes a second; its rectification takes a semester. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Revisiting Mengele’s Malignant “Race Science”," 15 June 2020 Senate Republicans on Tuesday laid the groundwork for a truncated trial of President Trump that would be a perversion of justice. Washington Post, "Editorial Roundup: US," 22 Jan. 2020 The problem with the quixotic search for virality is that triumph depends on the algorithmic perversions of the social media platform. Dan Pfeiffer, Wired, "Wake Up, Democrats! Memes Matter in the Race to 2020," 18 Feb. 2020 Although there are hints of San Francisco’s legendary perversions, our otherwise curious narrator never dabbles. Malcolm Harris, The New Republic, "The Uneasy Promise of Life in Silicon Valley," 3 Feb. 2020 His ownership of the career home run mark (762) is a gross PED perversion of a sacred mark. Globe Staff,, "Clemens and Bonds belong in the Hall . . . and other baseball thoughts," 23 Jan. 2020 Moore and Ennis asked whether the world, with all of its flaws, corruption, and perversion, was even worth saving. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, "“Watchmen,” “The Boys,” and the False Hope That Superheroes Can Save Us," 17 Dec. 2019 The actions of the Arkansas state legislature were a betrayal of their duty to their constituents and a blatant perversion of the purpose of government. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Judge serves up sizzling rebuke of Arkansas’ anti-veggie-meat labeling law," 12 Dec. 2019 Unless this is some perversion of that sinful between-meals indulgence. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "Woke, lit, snacc: When GenZ lingo stumped our resident elder millennial," 6 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perversion.' 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 perversion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for perversion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for perversion

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perversion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for perversion


How to pronounce perversion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perversion

: sexual behavior that people think is not normal or natural
: something that improperly changes something good
: the process of improperly changing something that is good


per·​ver·​sion | \ pər-ˈvər-zhən, -shən How to pronounce perversion (audio) \

Medical Definition of perversion

1 : the action of perverting or the condition of being perverted
2 : an aberrant sexual practice or interest especially when habitual

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