Synonym Chooser

How is the word averse different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of averse are disinclined, hesitant, loath, and reluctant. While all these words mean "lacking the will or desire to do something indicated," averse implies a holding back from or avoiding because of distaste or repugnance.

averse to hard work
not averse to an occasional drink

In what contexts can disinclined take the place of averse?

Although the words disinclined and averse have much in common, disinclined implies lack of taste for or inclination.

disinclined to move again
disinclined for reading

When can hesitant be used instead of averse?

While in some cases nearly identical to averse, hesitant implies a holding back especially through fear or uncertainty.

hesitant about asking for a date

When is loath a more appropriate choice than averse?

The meanings of loath and averse largely overlap; however, loath implies hesitancy because of conflict with one's opinions, predilections, or liking.

seems loath to trust anyone

When might reluctant be a better fit than averse?

In some situations, the words reluctant and averse are roughly equivalent. However, reluctant implies a holding back through unwillingness.

a reluctant witness

Thesaurus Entries Near averse

Cite this Entry

“Averse.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/averse. Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on averse

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?