reversal

noun
re·​ver·​sal | \ ri-ˈvər-səl How to pronounce reversal (audio) \

Definition of reversal

1 : an act or the process of reversing
2 : a conversion of a photographic positive into a negative or vice versa
3 : a change (as of fortune) often for the worse

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for reversal

Synonyms

knock, lapse, reverse, setback

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of reversal in a Sentence

In a sudden reversal, the mayor has decided not to run for reelection. the reversal of a decision a surprising reversal in the value of the stock We had a role reversal. I became the leader and he became the follower. In a reversal of roles, he is now taking care of his mother. Reversal of the decision is unlikely.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But McConnell's team has been aggressive in trying to tar McGrath as too liberal for the state, and has taken particular joy in her reversal on Kavanaugh. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, "Amy McGrath repeatedly changes mind on Kavanaugh question," 12 July 2019 Aliza Kaplan, a Lewis & Clark College law school professor and director of the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic, said two-thirds of people sentenced to death in the past 35 years had won reversals. oregonlive.com, "New law would limit Oregon’s death penalty to rare cases: Accused MAX train killer Jeremy Christian and others would face life in prison," 12 July 2019 The administration's reversal was first reported by Axios. Fortune, "Who Wins and Loses as White House Withdraws Drug Rebate Plan," 11 July 2019 The administration’s rebate reversal was first reported by Axios. Washington Post, "Setbacks for Trump’s drive to lower prescription drug costs," 11 July 2019 Sanders had earlier campaigned against a prior waterfront development plan, and so his seeming reversal on the question sparked some of the hardest left-wing criticism of his tenure. Matthew Zeitlin, The New Republic, "Bernie’s Red Vermont," 13 June 2019 But usually those reversals weren’t known to extend to genitalia. Quanta Magazine, "Why Evolution Reversed These Insects’ Sex Organs," 30 Jan. 2019 Following a monthlong standoff, Iran’s shootdown of a U.S. spy drone last week and Mr. Trump’s last-minute reversal of a plan to mount retaliatory strikes, European leaders urged both sides to show restraint and consider negotiations. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Threat Still Looms Over Iran’s Top Diplomat," 29 June 2019 Not everyone has such a reversal of fortune as Shakur at the event. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Stand Down kicks off weekend of help for homeless vets," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reversal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of reversal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reversal

Statistics for reversal

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reversal

The first known use of reversal was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reversal

reversal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reversal

: a change to an opposite state, condition, decision, etc.

reversal

noun
re·​ver·​sal | \ ri-ˈvər-səl How to pronounce reversal (audio) \

Kids Definition of reversal

: a change to an opposite or former state, condition, view, or direction

reversal

noun
re·​ver·​sal | \ ri-ˈvər-səl How to pronounce reversal (audio) \

Medical Definition of reversal

: an act or the process of reversing

Keep scrolling for more

reversal

noun
re·​ver·​sal

Legal Definition of reversal

1 : an act or the process of reversing
2 : an instance of reversing the reversal of the lower court's decision

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reversal

What made you want to look up reversal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!