reverse

adjective
re·​verse | \ ri-ˈvərs \

Definition of reverse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : opposite or contrary to a previous or normal condition reverse order
b(1) : having the back presented to the observer or opponent
(2) : made with one's back to the basketball net a reverse layup
2 : coming from the rear of a military force
3 : acting, operating, or arranged in a manner contrary to the usual
4 : effecting reverse movement reverse gear
5 : so made that the part which normally prints in color appears white against a colored background

reverse

verb
reversed; reversing

Definition of reverse (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to turn completely about in position or direction
b : to turn upside down : invert
c : to cause to take an opposite point of view reversed herself on the issue
2 : negate, undo: such as
a : to overthrow, set aside, or make void (a legal decision) by a contrary decision
b : to change to the contrary reverse a policy
c : to undo or negate the effect of (something, such as a condition or surgical operation) had his vasectomy reversed
3 : to cause to go in the opposite direction especially : to cause (something, such as an engine) to perform its action in the opposite direction

intransitive verb

1 : to turn or move in the opposite direction the count's waltzing … consisted … of reversing at top speed— Agatha Christie
2 : to put a mechanism (such as an engine) in reverse
reverse field or reverse one's field
: to make a sudden reversal in direction or opinion

reverse

noun

Definition of reverse (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : something directly contrary to something else : opposite
2 : an act or instance of reversing especially : defeat, setback suffered financial reverses
3 : the back part of something especially : the side of a coin or currency note that is opposite the obverse
4a(1) : a gear that reverses something also : the whole mechanism brought into play when such a gear is used
(2) : movement in reverse
b : an offensive play in football in which a back moving in one direction gives the ball to a player moving in the opposite direction
in reverse
: in an opposite manner or direction

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Other Words from reverse

Adjective

reversely adverb

Verb

reverser noun

Synonyms for reverse

Synonyms: Verb

switch

Synonyms: Noun

knock, lapse, reversal, setback

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Choose the Right Synonym for reverse

Verb

reverse, transpose, invert mean to change to the opposite position. reverse is the most general term and may imply change in order, side, direction, meaning. reversed his position on the trade agreement transpose implies a change in order or relative position of units often through exchange of position. transposed the letters to form an anagram invert applies chiefly to turning upside down or inside out. the number 9 looks like an inverted 6

Examples of reverse in a Sentence

Adjective

Can you say the alphabet in reverse order? The drug is used to lower blood pressure but may have the reverse effect in some patients.

Verb

The runners reversed their direction on the track. There is no way to reverse the aging process. Can anything reverse the trend toward higher prices? Reverse the “i” and “e” in “recieve” to spell “receive” correctly. My mother and I reversed our roles. Now I'm taking care of her. We're going to reverse our usual order and start with Z.

Noun

The building appears on the reverse of the coin. Please sign your name on the reverse. I put the car in reverse and backed out of the garage.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Photo: Alamy Stock Photo What will likely divide opinion among readers is Ms. Harvey’s decision to tell the story in reverse chronological order, working backwards toward Newman’s death. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Shrovetide Confessions," 13 Dec. 2018 The Amphicar has a four-speed manual transmission for the road and a forward/reverse gearbox that drives twin propellers in the water. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Amphicar Floats In Memory Of Stafford Springs Native, With Hopes Of Future Cruises," 15 June 2017 Amid all this, Tumblr has been a safe harbor of delightful, weird, and deeply human stuff, presented using the radical system known as reverse chronological order. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Kevin Hart tweeted himself out of a job hosting the Oscars," 8 Dec. 2018 The company also plans to complete a 1-for-10 reverse split of its class A shares in early January. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Daniel Och Takes Another Step Back From The Hedge Fund Empire He Built," 6 Dec. 2018 Encounter The reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu was a no contest really ending in a 5-0 victory for the home side. SI.com, "Sevilla vs Real Madrid Preview: Recent Form, Previous Encounter, Team News, Predictions & More," 8 May 2018 Book your passage The Silver Shadow sails again to most of these ports of call (in reverse order, from Singapore to Hong Kong) in January 2019. Christopher Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "Sailing the South China Sea Is the Best Way to See Southeast Asia," 15 Nov. 2018 Points were allotted in reverse order: 12 for first, 11 for second, etc. 1. Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "What’s the best job in the Pac-12? Even coaches say there’s an obvious hierarchy," 25 Oct. 2018 The jacks, each one impressive in its own right, are presented below in reverse order. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: Inside J.D. Martinez's Essential Role With the Red Sox and the Best of Mike Trout," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In severe cases, you may be treated with epinephrine (a medication that can reverse anaphylaxis) and then possibly a steroid (like cortisone) to reduce inflammation and get the reaction under control, FARE says. Korin Miller, SELF, "4 Signs You Might Be Allergic to Sugar," 24 Dec. 2018 And the Trump administration is attempting to reverse regulations and promote the use of extremely dirty sources like coal, so the US is not, in fact, leading on that matter. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Trump administration organizes pushback against its own climate report," 3 Dec. 2018 He was found guilty of second-degree murder in October, but a judge reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial because information about a key witness was not disclosed. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore State's Attorney's Office still assessing whether it will pursue fourth Keith Davis trial," 11 July 2018 Manufacturing production had been mostly growing since mid-2016, when rising oil prices helped reverse a hit to U.S. energy production. Sharon Nunn, WSJ, "Cold Weather Masks Weakening Factory Production," 14 Dec. 2018 That helped reverse some of the market’s big losses from the week before. Marley Jay, The Seattle Times, "Wall Street ends higher with help from tech and health care," 12 Dec. 2018 The federal government’s 2017 budget allocated 65.2 million Canadian dollars over five years beginning in 2017 to help reverse the trend. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, "Canada’s indigenous population is overrepresented in federal prisons — and it’s only getting worse," 1 July 2018 It was planted to help reverse the trend of dwindling bee and monarch butterfly populations. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Frustrated environmental-committee members resign. Now Hales Corners fruit and nut orchard is at risk," 18 June 2018 Moms and dads can adjust its height, convert its setup into a series of positions, and even reverse the seat to face in or out. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Here's Where to Buy the Super-Popular Stroller Joanna Gaines Uses for Baby Crew," 21 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Amy Nofziger, director of regional operations at the AARP Foundation, recommends using a reverse Google image search of photos to verify the identity of a person on the other end of an online love connection. Kevin Mcallister, WSJ, "Outsmart the Scammers: How You Can Avoid Fraud," 6 Jan. 2019 Why is Taiwan going to all this reverse-engineering trouble? Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Taiwan is Reverse-Engineering Fighter Jet Engines To Power a Cruise Missile," 3 Jan. 2019 Many users griped about the change, even though Twitter has always allowed users to switch back to the reverse-chronological feed temporarily. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Twitter is relaunching the reverse-chronological feed as an option for all users starting today," 18 Dec. 2018 Return of the Obra Dinn is about the horror of history, the horror of a tragedy in reverse, the horror of inevitability. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Why Return of the Obra Dinn is my game of the year," 21 Dec. 2018 Too many politicians practice the reverse, with terrible consequences for the American people. Fortune, "Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Supporting Democrats in 2018," 20 June 2018 In the past year, however, that trend has gone into reverse, with employment growing more quickly in the snazzier professions. The Economist, "Britain’s era of abysmal productivity growth could be at an end," 12 Apr. 2018 The reverse braking systems are focused on preventing collisions with obstacles, but that technology may soon be expanded to protect against pedestrian crashes. CBS News, "Safety tech in cars can cut backup crashes by 78 percent, study finds," 22 Feb. 2018 The video was shot in reverse, which made for a unique story told to the tune of the upbeat rock song. Nina Braca, Billboard, "The Fratellis Portray a Modern-Day Romance In 'Starcrossed Losers' Video: Exclusive Premiere," 21 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reverse.' 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 reverse

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reverse

Adjective

Middle English revers, from Anglo-French, from Latin reversus, past participle of revertere to turn back — more at revert

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Statistics for reverse

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reverse

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

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More Definitions for reverse

reverse

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of reverse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: opposite to what is usual or stated

: opposite to the front

reverse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reverse (Entry 2 of 3)

: to change (something) to an opposite state or condition

: to cause (something, such as a process) to stop or return to an earlier state

: to change the order or position of (two things or a series)

reverse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reverse (Entry 3 of 3)

the reverse : something that is opposite to something else

the reverse : the back side of a coin, document, etc.

: a change that makes something worse

reverse

adjective
re·​verse | \ ri-ˈvərs \

Kids Definition of reverse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : opposite to a previous, normal, or usual condition reverse order
2 : opposite to the front the reverse side

reverse

verb
reversed; reversing

Kids Definition of reverse (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to turn completely around or upside down or inside out The jacket reverses.
2 : to change the order or position of Reverse the vowels to correctly spell the word.
3 : to change or cause to change to an opposite or former state, condition, or view The court reversed a decision.
4 : to go or cause to go in the opposite direction

reverse

noun

Kids Definition of reverse (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : something opposite to something else : contrary The river flows west to east, not the reverse.
2 : an act or instance of changing to an opposite or former state, condition, view, or direction a reverse of plans
3 : the back part of something the reverse of a coin
4 : a gear that reverses something Put the car in reverse.

reverse

transitive verb
re·​verse | \ ri-ˈvərs \
reversed; reversing

Medical Definition of reverse

: to change drastically or completely the course or effect of: as
a : to initiate recovery from reverse a disease
b : to make of no effect or as if not done reverse a surgical procedure

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reverse

verb
re·​verse
reversed; reversing

Legal Definition of reverse

transitive verb

: to set aside or make void (a judgment or decision) by a contrary decision — compare affirm

intransitive verb

: to reverse a decision or judgment for these reasons, we reverse

Other Words from reverse

reversible adjective

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Comments on reverse

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