Synonyms & Antonyms of adversity

1 bad luck or an example of this
  • many people came face-to-face with life-altering adversity when the stock market crashed

Synonyms for adversity

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Antonyms for adversity

2 something that is a cause for suffering or special effort especially in the attainment of a goal
  • some overcame all the adversities of the Great Depression and rebuilt their fortunes

Synonyms for adversity

Words Related to adversity

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About adversity

How does the noun adversity differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of adversity are mischance, misfortune, and mishap. While all these words mean "adverse fortune or an instance of this," adversity applies to a state of grave or persistent misfortune.

had never experienced great adversity

When is it sensible to use mischance instead of adversity?

The words mischance and adversity are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mischance applies especially to a situation involving no more than slight inconvenience or minor annoyance.

took the wrong road by mischance

When might misfortune be a better fit than adversity?

The meanings of misfortune and adversity largely overlap; however, misfortune may apply to either the incident or conjunction of events that is the cause of an unhappy change of fortune or to the ensuing state of distress.

never lost hope even in the depths of misfortune

When can mishap be used instead of adversity?

The synonyms mishap and adversity are sometimes interchangeable, but mishap applies to an often trivial instance of bad luck.

the usual mishaps of a family vacation

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Time Traveler for adversity

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The first known use of adversity was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Adversity.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on adversity

Dictionary: Definition of adversity

Nglish: Translation of adversity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adversity for Arabic Speakers

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