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 perversity (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

Morality sometimes leads to outcomes that would be perverse if individuals acted to maximize their own fitness. John Hawks, WSJ, "‘The Goodness Paradox’ Review: The Benefits of Good Breeding," 25 Jan. 2019 With control of the web's most widely used browser, the world's most widely used search engine, and a huge slice of the web's market in ads, Google enjoys a whole host of increasingly perverse incentives. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Google Chrome Is Poised to Swallow the Whole Internet," 4 Dec. 2018 The experience has given her a perverse sense of community. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything," 28 May 2018 But Brolin’s Thanos is an unexpectedly resonant monster, filled with sadness and even a perverse sense of honor. Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, "Avengers: Infinity War Is an Extraordinary Juggling Act," 26 Apr. 2018 Requiring companies to publicly report each bug could be a perverse incentive, punishing the products that do the most to protect their users. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "The breach that killed Google+ wasn’t a breach at all," 9 Oct. 2018 As Graeber presents it, this is an education of a kind, but a perverse and unsatisfying one. Rachel Paige King, Longreads, "Is Your Job Lynchian, or Is It More Kafkaesque?," 26 Apr. 2018 And the obsessive hatred of Obama that grew out of Trump’s humiliation at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner has blossomed into a perverse and often self-destructive mania. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 Even perverse decisions will not take you too far from the main plotline. The Economist, "Fighting the resource curse through online gaming," 28 June 2018

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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Statistics for perverse

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perverse

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on perverse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perverse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perverse

Spanish Central: Translation of perverse

Nglish: Translation of perverse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perverse for Arabic Speakers

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