What does adversity mean?

Definitions for adversity
ædˈvɜr sɪ tiad·ver·si·ty

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. adversity, hardship, hard knocksnoun

    a state of misfortune or affliction

    "debt-ridden farmers struggling with adversity"; "a life of hardship"

  2. adversitynoun

    a stroke of ill fortune; a calamitous event

    "a period marked by adversities"


  1. adversitynoun

    The state of adverse conditions; state of misfortune or calamity.

  2. adversitynoun

    An event that is adverse; calamity.

  3. Etymology: From adversité, from adversitatem, the accusative singular of adversitas, from adversus, the perfect passive participle of adverto.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Adversitynoun

    Affliction; calamity; that is, opposition to our wishes.

    Etymology: adversité, Fr.

    Let me embrace these four adversities,
    For wise men say, it is the wisest course. William Shakespeare, Hen. VI.

    Sweet are the uses of adversity,
    Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
    Wears yet a precious jewel in his head. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    Concerning deliverance itself from all adversity, we use not to say men are in adversity, whensoever they feel any small hinderance of their welfare in this world, but when some notable affliction or cross, some great calamity or trouble, befalleth them. Richard Hooker, b. v. § 48.

    A remembrance of the good use he had made of prosperity, contributed to support his mind under the heavy weight of adversity, which then lay upon him. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.


  1. Adversity

    Stress, either physiological, biological or psychological, is an organism's response to a stressor such as an environmental condition. Stress is the body's method of reacting to a condition such as a threat, challenge or physical and psychological barrier. There are two hormones that an individual produces during a stressful situation, these are well known as adrenaline and cortisol. There are two kinds of stress hormone levels. Resting (basal) cortisol levels are normal everyday quantities that are essential for standard functioning. Reactive cortisol levels are increases in cortisol in response to stressors. Stimuli that alter an organism's environment are responded to by multiple systems in the body. In humans and most mammals, the autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are the two major systems that respond to stress.The sympathoadrenal medullary (SAM) axis may activate the fight-or-flight response through the sympathetic nervous system, which dedicates energy to more relevant bodily systems to acute adaptation to stress, while the parasympathetic nervous system returns the body to homeostasis. The second major physiological stress-response center, the HPA axis, regulates the release of cortisol, which influences many bodily functions such as metabolic, psychological and immunological functions. The SAM and HPA axes are regulated by several brain regions, including the limbic system, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus, and stria terminalis. Through these mechanisms, stress can alter memory functions, reward, immune function, metabolism and susceptibility to diseases.Disease risk is particularly pertinent to mental illnesses, whereby chronic or severe stress remains a common risk factor for several mental illnesses.


  1. adversity

    Adversity refers to a state of hardship, difficulty, or distress, often caused by an unfortunate event or circumstance. It's a condition marked by misfortune, obstacles or challenges that may pose a serious hindrance to progress or success.

  2. adversity

    Adversity is a situation, condition or state characterized by hardship, difficulty, misfortune, or challenges that a person has to confront or deal with. It often involves obstacles or complications that test a person's resilience and perseverance, and can lead to personal growth and strength. Adversity can be the result of unfavorable circumstances, harmful events or disaster.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Adversitynoun

    opposition; contrariety

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A bottomless lake, surrounded by near-sighted friends.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of adversity in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of adversity in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of adversity in a Sentence

  1. Connor Hellebuyck:

    This is going to be a big character build for us, you never know how much adversity you go through, and we seem to keep going through little spurts of adversity. Hopefully, we come back from this stronger.

  2. Ruckett:

    A vulgar mind is proud in prosperity and humble in adversity. A noble mind is humble in prosperity and proud in adversity.

  3. George Gordon Byron:

    Adversity is the first path to truth.

  4. James Franklin:

    I just think about so many guys that have come through our program and had to learn how to overcome adversity. And I think that’s one of the things that’s great — or was great — about college football. It forced young people to have to overcome adversity.

  5. James Franklin:

    I do worry about it, i just think about so many guys that have come through our program and had to learn how to overcome adversity. And I think that’s one of the things that’s great — or was great — about college football. It forced young people to have to overcome adversity.

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Translations for adversity

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"adversity." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/adversity>.

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