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 This behavior would not only be a perversion of the DOJ's critical role in ensuring the neutral and apolitical application of justice -- a key requirement for a democratic society. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 11 June 2021 Malort, Chicago’s pride and perversion, is all wormwood, the herb that gave absinthe its bad name. Beth Segal, cleveland, 28 May 2021 Part of the job, of course, yet De Palma's romantic framing demands subtextual perversion. Darren Franich,, 21 May 2021 What a waste that in practice, the film would turn out to be the plainest version of itself, all but bereft of the knowing humor and grabby perversion that makes this disreputable genre great. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 19 May 2021 Faced with this perversion of the asylum process, some churches and synagogues in the American Southwest decided to help Salvadorans and Guatemalans enter and remain in the United States illegally. New York Times, 7 Apr. 2021 Largely lost in the shuffle, in the manifold discussions of perversion, obscenity, and indecency, was the title character herself. Stacy Schiff, The New Yorker, 5 Mar. 2021 By reserving benefits for those who are truly in need, the IDR mechanism also reduces the perversion of incentives that often come with implementing safety nets. Beth Akers, National Review, 3 Mar. 2021 The series is also a romance—or a sweet perversion of one. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 28 Dec. 2020

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

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

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Statistics for perversion

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perversion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for perversion



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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