re·​ver·​sion | \ ri-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce reversion (audio) , -shən\

Definition of reversion

1a : the part of a simple estate remaining in the control of its owner after the owner has granted therefrom a lesser particular estate
b : a future interest in property left in the control of a grantor or the grantor's successor
2 : the right of succession or future possession or enjoyment
3a : an act or the process of returning (as to a former condition)
b : a return toward an ancestral type or condition : reappearance of an ancestral character
4 : an act or instance of turning the opposite way : the state of being so turned
5 : a product of reversion specifically : an organism with an atavistic character : throwback

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of reversion in a Sentence

His photos document the land's reversion to swamp. the reversion of the estate
Recent Examples on the Web Ben’s break-neck reversion to his former and meeker personality — even though his present success and newfound attractiveness should have endowed him with enough confidence to return as the opposite — is another good example. Clarkisha Kent,, "Childhood trauma is the true villain of It Chapter Two," 8 Sep. 2019 This is more about mean reversion than a runaway bubble. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "Is Easy Money From the Fed Turning the U.S. Economy Japanese?," 1 Aug. 2019 Some business blunders can be fixed or reversed — think of Coca-Cola’s rollout of New Coke, followed quickly by its reversion to Classic Coke, in the 1980s. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Insurance firms’ blunders on long-term care insurance create disaster for millions," 25 July 2019 The result is an unusual reversion to a center-right party that doesn’t plan to throw any bombs. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Greek elections are expected to bring a populist experiment to an end," 6 July 2019 Last come historical prices, to take into account momentum and mean reversion. The Economist, "For now, residential-property prices are likely to keep rising," 29 June 2019 The 2018 postseason had held promise, with Davis winning the first playoff series of his career, but the 2018–19 regular season signaled a reversion, as the team dropped below .500 and fell out of the playoff race. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "Anthony Davis and LeBron James Are Uniquely Suited to Win," 17 June 2019 Just as a break with the past cannot yet be ruled out, nor can a reversion to it. The Economist, "The ECB presidency is distinct but not immune from backroom deals," 15 June 2019 In certain respects, today’s demands for the imposition of universal standards of speech and belief are a reversion to a pre-Westphalian view of the world. Yoram Hazony, WSJ, "The Liberty of Nations," 24 Aug. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for reversion

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin reversion-, reversio act of returning, from revertere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reversion

Statistics for reversion

Last Updated

24 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for reversion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reversion


How to pronounce reversion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reversion

technical + formal : an act or process of returning to an earlier condition or state
law : the returning of property to a former owner or to a person who received the right to it when the former owner died


re·​ver·​sion | \ ri-ˈvər-zhən, -shən How to pronounce reversion (audio) \

Medical Definition of reversion

1a : an act or the process of returning (as to a former condition)
b : a return toward an ancestral type or condition : reappearance of an ancestral character
2 : a product of reversion specifically : an organism with an atavistic character


re·​ver·​sion | \ ri-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce reversion (audio) \

Legal Definition of reversion

1 : the returning of an estate upon its termination to the former owner or to his or her successor in interest
2a : the present vested interest in the residue of an estate that remains in its owner after the grant therefrom of a lesser estate (as a life estate) and that will commence in possession by operation of law upon termination of the lesser estate
b : the future interest in property left in a grantor or his or her successor in interest that is not subject to a condition precedent — compare possibility of reverter, remainder

Other Words from reversion

reversionary \ -​zhə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce reversionary (audio) \ adjective

History and Etymology for reversion

Anglo-French, from Middle French, from Latin reversio act of turning back, from revertere to turn back

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reversion

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


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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