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

All of the 10 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expect the central bank to keep the benchmark 7-day reverse repo rate at 6.0% also because the global economic growth this year isn’t expected to be as rosy as predicted earlier. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Bank Indonesia Likely to Keep Rate Steady on Thursday: Poll," 16 Jan. 2019 Two of these suggestions could decrease noise right next to the airport: not using the runway closest to the airport boundary when traffic is less busy, and asking pilots to curtail noisy reverse engine thrusts on landing. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "As Sea-Tac Airport traffic booms, distant neighborhoods are noisy despite FAA plan," 25 Oct. 2018 An elderly woman was parked in front of the building and intended to put the car in reverse to exit the lot, police said. Ruth Bruno, courant.com, "Car Crashes Into Hartford Laundromat," 8 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Touch your knee to your elbow (if possible) and then reverse the movement, extending your left leg back out straight and lowering your upper body back to the starting position. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Core With This 5-Move Workout From Carrie Underwood’s Trainer," 29 Jan. 2019 These include efforts to offer potential witnesses pardons, efforts to pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions into reversing his recusal, Trump’s involvement in his son Don Jr.’s misleading public statement about his Trump Tower Russian meeting. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump’s attorney general nominee wrote a memo expressing deep suspicion of the Mueller probe," 20 Dec. 2018 Seeing both is a helpful way of understanding the scope of the problems the region faces, as well as the potential for reversing some of the mistakes of the past. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 Under the Affordable Care Act, birth control was completely covered for anyone with insurance, Yen explains, but the current administration may reverse that. Hans Aschim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Three Women in Science Who Broke the Glass Ceiling," 5 Oct. 2018 That the Supreme Court isn't on the brink of reversing Roe v. Wade? refinery29.com, "Mission Impossible: Fallout Is As Wild & Fun As Henry Cavill's Mustache," 12 July 2018 Facebook, whose products are used by more than two billion people around the world, isn’t the only major tech company having trouble reversing decades of hiring patterns and making their corporate cultures more welcoming to women of color. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook's diversity efforts failing African-American and Hispanic women," 12 July 2018 On Friday, October 5, Venus — the celestial body that governs love, beauty, and money — will be reversing its path in the sky. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 But that downward trend that slowed sharply in Trump’s first year has now reversed entirely. Brooks Jackson, Philly.com, "Trump's Numbers (Second Quarterly Update) | FactCheck," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Few stock-market tricks should give an ETF investor more pause than the reverse split. Nick Ravo, WSJ, "Beware of ETF Reverse Splits," 3 Feb. 2019 The reverse lunges in particular work your quads and glutes; the curtsy lunges hit the outside of your glutes; and the lateral lunges target your inner thigh muscles, says Oprea. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "All You Need Is a Pair of Socks to Do This 15-Minute Total-Body Workout From Carrie Underwood’s Trainer," 13 Dec. 2018 The loveliest part about a long series is that its characters drive the action, rather than the reverse. Charles Finch, USA TODAY, "These 4 new mysteries are guaranteed to heat up your summer," 13 June 2018 Fuel-efficient cars are bargains when the price of gasoline is low, butte reverse will happen soon enough. Ed Wallace, star-telegram, "Your Lyin’ Eyes," 12 May 2018 That’s completely the reverse of what soil tests usually suggest for most Texas soils. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "Why do I have lawn runners and neighbors don’t?," 4 May 2018 The plane was going too fast to return to LaGuardia, and would have likely overshot the runway without the engines working in reverse to slow the plane. Allen St. John, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Right: Revisiting Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and the Miracle on the Hudson," 15 Jan. 2019 The next day, August 22, the passenger returned, taking the same route in reverse: Harlingen to Houston, and then Houston to Dallas. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Passengers on 4 Southwest Flights Possibly Exposed to Measles," 11 Sep. 2018 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

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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Learn More about reverse

Statistics for reverse

Last Updated

7 Feb 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)

: something that is opposite to something else
: the back side of a coin, document, etc.
formal : 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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