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 But Antebellum, the feature-length directorial debut of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, is a cinematic perversion of the genre. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Antebellum Is a Shallow Schlock-Fest About Slavery," 19 Sep. 2020 Alexis de Tocqueville was appalled by the perversion of law to exterminate the Indians, but he was also impressed by its ability to accomplish relatively peacefully what war had not. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "Donald Trump Truly Is the Heir to the Legacy of Andrew Jackson," 3 Aug. 2020 The intention and its perversion are usually transparent. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Revisiting Mengele’s Malignant “Race Science”," 15 June 2020 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

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

3 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perversion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 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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