reverse

adjective
re·​verse | \ ri-ˈvərs How to pronounce reverse (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from reverse

Adjective

reversely adverb

Verb

reverser noun

Synonyms for reverse

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Inside, the displays are organized in reverse chronological order. Eric Gibson, WSJ, "Abroad at Home: Where Function Follows Form," 26 Dec. 2020 Once the photos went up, a friend of Howard’s identified the man by running the photos through a reverse image search on a facial recognition app called Pimeyes. oregonlive, "Stalker terrifies Portland neighborhoods," 6 Dec. 2020 Then, reassemble the faucet with the new parts in the reverse order and test the repair by gradually opening up the shut-off valves. New York Times, "Do It Yourself Home Repairs," 5 Dec. 2020 Another reverse Google image search reveals one of the images is not even from the U.S., instead depicting a rally in London. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Images claiming to show pro-Trump rally are from 2016 in Cleveland, 2018 in London," 18 Nov. 2020 Following Damian Lillard’s reverse layup, Harden made a 25-foot step-back for a 126-125 cushion with 15.3 seconds remaining. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Rockets' James Harden after scoring 44 points in season-opening loss: 'I know what I'm capable of'," 27 Dec. 2020 While balayage is all about subtly brightening up hair, reverse balayage adds darkness and dimension back to light hair. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Reverse Balayage Is the Coolest Hair Color Trend for Blondes," 15 Dec. 2020 Together, these efforts are helping reverse deforestation, protect underground springs, and increase food security. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Urban farming takes off in Seattle, and more," 14 Dec. 2020 Some models of dash cam integrate rear backup camera compatibility, enabling you to install and view rear camera imagery while in reverse right from the dash cam screen. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Best dash cams: Car accessories to keep you safe on the road," 11 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the data are incomplete and not enough to explain the spike in a way that would reliably inform possible policies to reverse it. Ramon Antonio Vargas, NOLA.com, "Killings and shootings soared in 2020, one of New Orleans' bloodiest years since Hurricane Katrina," 1 Jan. 2021 And since the ban was enforced as a presidential directive, Biden would be able to reverse it unilaterally. Ryan Beals, NBC News, "Decade after 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal, a 'hurtful' legacy remains," 22 Dec. 2020 And among the arsenal of ways to attempt to reverse it are basic measures such as sleep itself. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "The Curious Influence of COVID-19 on Sleep," 21 Dec. 2020 That came, however, over the objections of some Democrats, who may now have to reverse themselves to back Austin, who served 41 years in the Army and retired in 2016. Anchorage Daily News, "Biden’s historic nominee for defense secretary leaves some congressional Democrats in a bind," 10 Dec. 2020 But that came over the objections of some Democrats, who may now have to reverse themselves to back Austin, who served 41 years in the Army and retired in 2016. Arkansas Online, "Biden's Pentagon nominee puts some Democrats in a bind," 9 Dec. 2020 Modeling, which has generally tracked with actual infection rates, does suggest that the situation can begin to reverse itself about two weeks after the community decides to stop digging the hole any deeper. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "ICU beds could be filled by next week, county told, as record number of deaths recorded," 8 Dec. 2020 The action likely locks in the current standard for at least many months, if not several years, even if the Biden team attempts to reverse it. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "EPA declines to tighten soot standards, giving industry a win before Biden," 7 Dec. 2020 Congress and courts can't reverse them, but a president can – to some extent. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Can Trump pardon himself? What's a preemptive pardon? Experts explain the sweeping power," 2 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Like Clue in reverse, the Hitman trilogy of games drops players in picturesque settings absolutely stuffed with ways things can go horribly wrong for a very bad person and asks you to find the most satisfying option and make a clean getaway. Joshua Rivera, Vulture, "24 Games We Can’t Wait to Play in 2021," 15 Jan. 2021 There is, tragically, no way to run the experiment in reverse. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "The Importance, and Incoherence, of Twitter’s Trump Ban," 15 Jan. 2021 All that’s left is Leighton Vander Esch, who, even when upright, seems stuck in reverse. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Dan Quinn’s future in Dallas hinges on Cowboys reversing a decade-long trend in the NFL draft," 13 Jan. 2021 The response comes back through a similar path in reverse. Bhaskar Krishnamachari, The Conversation, "How does Wi-Fi work? An electrical engineer explains," 12 Jan. 2021 Over the weekend, the world’s leading cryptocurrency went in reverse, shedding around a quarter of its value and traded at $34,184 on Monday, according to data from CoinDesk. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, "Online Platform eToro Called in Leveraged Crypto Trades When Bitcoin Price Peaked," 11 Jan. 2021 Trump toward the end of his term also increasingly demanded that the Justice Department be weaponized in reverse. Star Tribune, "Merrick Garland can help lower the temperature in Washington," 7 Jan. 2021 The highway scenes included Kenneth Branagh walking away from a car explosion, Robert Pattinson at the wheel of a car driven in reverse by a stunt driver in the back seat, and several trucks rolling in formation down the highway. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "That 'Tenet' car chase scene shut down an Estonian highway for three weeks, but all is forgiven," 24 Dec. 2020 Anderson scored again in the third quarter on a 17-yard reverse around the left end. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "Edna Karr loses Class 4A final against Carencro; streak stops at 4 consecutive titles," 29 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reverse

Time Traveler for reverse

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for reverse

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reverse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reverse. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reverse

reverse

adjective
How to pronounce reverse (audio)

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 How to pronounce reverse (audio) \

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.
re·​verse | \ ri-ˈvərs How to pronounce reverse (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reverse

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!