What does adverse mean?

Definitions for adverse
ædˈvɜrs, ˈæd vɜrsad·verse

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word adverse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. adverse, inauspicious, untowardadjective

    contrary to your interests or welfare

    "adverse circumstances"; "made a place for themselves under the most untoward conditions"

  2. adverse, contraryadjective

    in an opposing direction

    "adverse currents"; "a contrary wind"


  1. adverseadjective

    Unfavorable; antagonistic in purpose or effect; hostile; actively opposing one's interests or wishes; contrary to one's welfare; acting against; working in an opposing direction.

    adverse criticism

  2. adverseadjective

    Opposed; contrary; opposing one's interests or desire.

    adverse circumstances.

  3. adverseadjective

    Opposite; confronting.

  4. Etymology: First attested around 1374, from avers (French: adverse), from adversus, past participle of advertere, from ad- + vertere. See also versus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ADVERSEadjective

    Etymology: adversus, Lat.

    Was I for this nigh wreckt upon the sea,
    And twice, by adverse winds, from England’s bank
    Drove back again unto my native clime. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    As when two polar winds blowing adverse,
    Upon the Cronian sea together drive
    Mountains of ice. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x. l. 289.

    With adverse blast up-turns them from the South,
    Notus and Afer.

    A cloud of smoke envelopes either host,
    And all at once the combatants are lost;
    Darkling they join adverse, and shock unseen;
    Coursers with coursers justling, men with men. Dryd.

    What if he hath decreed, that I shall first
    Be try’d in humble state, and things adverse;
    By tribulations, injuries, insults,
    Contempts, and scorns, and snares, and violence. Par. Reg.

    Some the prevailing malice of the great,
    Unhappy men, or adverse fate,
    Sunk deep into the gulfs of an afflicted state. Wentworth Dillon.

    Well she saw her father was grown her adverse party; and yet her fortune such, as she must favour her rivals. Philip Sidney.


  1. Adverse

    Adverse or adverse interest, in law, is anything that functions contrary to a party's interest. This word should not be confused with averse.


  1. adverse

    Adverse refers to something that is harmful, unfavorable, detrimental, or opposed to one's interests. It is often used to describe conditions, effects, or situations that hinder progress or create negative outcomes.

  2. adverse

    Adverse refers to unfavorable, harmful, or detrimental conditions or effects that are not desirable or expected; contradictory, opposing in position or direction.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Adverseadjective

    acting against, or in a contrary direction; opposed; contrary; opposite; conflicting; as, adverse winds; an adverse party; a spirit adverse to distinctions of caste

  2. Adverseadjective


  3. Adverseadjective

    in hostile opposition to; unfavorable; unpropitious; contrary to one's wishes; unfortunate; calamitous; afflictive; hurtful; as, adverse fates, adverse circumstances, things adverse

  4. Adverseverb

    to oppose; to resist

  5. Etymology: [L. adversari: cf. OF. averser.]


  1. Adverse

    [ad-vurs, ad-vurs] adjective ⁕unfavorable or antagonistic in purpose or effect: adverse criticism. ⁕opposing one's interests or desire: adverse circumstances. ⁕being or acting in a contrary direction; opposed or opposing: adverse winds. ⁕opposite; confronting: the adverse page. Adverse or adverse interest, in law, is anything that functions contrary to a party's interest.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Adverse

    ad′vėrs, adj. acting in a contrary direction (with to): opposed to: unfortunate: injurious.—adv. Ad′versely.—ns. Ad′verseness, Advers′ity, adverse circumstances: affliction: misfortune. [Through Fr. from L. adversusad, to, and vertĕre, versum, to turn.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. adverse

    The opposite of favourable; as, an adverse wind.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'adverse' in Adjectives Frequency: #927

Anagrams for adverse »

  1. aversed

  2. evaders

How to pronounce adverse?

How to say adverse in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of adverse in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of adverse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of adverse in a Sentence

  1. Baskut Tuncak:

    New victims of the Bhopal disaster are born every day, and suffer life-long from adverse health impacts.

  2. Martin Van Buren:

    We have seen time gradually dispel every unfavorable foreboding and our Constitution surmount every adverse circumstance dreaded at the outset as beyond control.

  3. Menander:

    No one ought to despond in adverse circumstances, for they may turn out to be the cause of good to us.*

  4. Robert Redfield:

    I've conducted a number of clinical trials in my days, both at Walter Reed [ National Military Medical Center ] and University of Maryland, of which I had the trial put on hold because of adverse reactions until we could evaluate whether that adverse reaction was something that was associated with the investigational product, and if so, was it serious enough that we then had to stop the trial.

  5. John R. Miller:

    If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for adverse

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • معاكسArabic
  • противопоставящ се, неблагоприятен, враждебен, обратенBulgarian
  • widrig, gegnerischGerman
  • adverso, contrario, opuesto, desfavorableSpanish
  • nurja, vastakkainen, epäsuotuisaFinnish
  • défavorableFrench
  • meefoayroilManx
  • प्रतिकूलHindi
  • ostile, contrario, avversoItalian
  • לוואיHebrew
  • 不利なJapanese
  • ugunstig, motstående, uhensiktsmessigNorwegian
  • niekorzystny, niepomyślny, niesprzyjającyPolish
  • opus, advers, nefavorabil, opusă, ostilRomanian
  • противоположный, неблагоприятный, враждебныйRussian
  • tersTurkish
  • bất lợiVietnamese

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"adverse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/adverse>.

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