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 But the perverse beauty of the Japanese system means that all this doesn’t matter, because your house never has to appeal to anyone except you. Lucy Alexander, Robb Report, "Japanese Homes Aren’t Built Last—and That’s the Point," 8 May 2021 In 1967, Van Morrison recorded 31 perverse one-minute ditties in order to fulfill his record contract. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "Van Morrison’s ‘Latest Record Project’ is a Delightfully Terrible Study in Casual Grievance," 6 May 2021 The perverse power duo, Russell and Parvati are like Mr. and Mrs. Smith — if Mr. and Mrs. Smith were an evil bayou hobbit and a yoga-teaching succubus. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Mike White writes the most disturbing fan fiction imaginable," 6 May 2021 For instance, Washington’s perverse attempt to force regime change by starving Syria’s civilian population harms religious minorities alongside everyone else, irrespective of support for Bashar al-Assad. Doug Bandow, National Review, "The Perilous State of Religious Freedom Worldwide," 2 May 2021 Perhaps some such voters are simply too perverse to really be intelligible. Washington Post, "Let’s face it, we all have the capacity to be mean. ‘Spite’ explores why that’s not necessarily a bad thing.," 28 Apr. 2021 These are but a few examples of Reagan’s perverse approach to government. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, "How Austerity Destroyed the Public Good," 27 Apr. 2021 There must be pettiness, there must be stakes, there must be a sense of justice, however perverse. Anna Peele, Vulture, "The Soul of Bravo," 14 Apr. 2021 The European Union plays a perverse antidemocratic part in this saga. Robert Kuttner, The New York Review of Books, "Dividends of a Just Economy," 13 Apr. 2021

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perverse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perverse. Accessed 15 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

Comments on perverse

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