What does perverse mean?

Definitions for perverse

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. perverseadjective

    marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict

    "took perverse satisfaction in foiling her plans"

  2. contrary, obstinate, perverse, waywardadjective

    resistant to guidance or discipline

    "Mary Mary quite contrary"; "an obstinate child with a violent temper"; "a perverse mood"; "wayward behavior"

  3. depraved, perverse, perverted, reprobateadjective

    deviating from what is considered moral or right or proper or good

    "depraved criminals"; "a perverted sense of loyalty"; "the reprobate conduct of a gambling aristocrat"


  1. perverseadjective

    Turned aside; hence, specifically, turned away from the (morally) right; willfully erring; wicked; perverted.

  2. perverseadjective

    Obstinately in the wrong; stubborn; intractable; hence, wayward; vexing; contrary.

  3. perverseadjective

    Ignoring the evidence or the judge's opinions.

  4. Etymology: * From perversum, past participle of pervertere > per- 'thoroughly' + vertere 'to turn'. So, "thoroughly turned".

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PERVERSEadjective

    Etymology: pervers, Fr. perversus, Lat.

    And nature breeds
    Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things. John Milton.

    Then for the testimony of truth hast born
    Universal reproach; far worse to bear
    Than violence; for this was all thy care
    To stand approv’d in sight of God, though worlds
    Judg’d thee perverse. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    To so perverse a sex all grace is vain,
    It gives them courage to offend again. Dryden.

    Oh gentle Romeo,
    If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully,
    Or if you think I am too quickly won,
    I’ll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay,
    So thou wilt wooe: but else not for the world. William Shakespeare.


  1. Perverse

    Known as the guy called Nad aka Brown Unicorn


  1. perverse

    Perverse generally refers to behaving or showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave unacceptably or unreasonably, often in direct contrast to what is expected or desired. It can also refer to actions or tendencies that are viewed as wicked, corrupt, or deviant from what is considered normal or appropriate.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Perverseadjective

    turned aside; hence, specifically, turned away from the right; willfully erring; wicked; perverted

  2. Perverseadjective

    obstinate in the wrong; stubborn; intractable; hence, wayward; vexing; contrary


  1. Perverse

    Perverse is the third album by the British rock band Jesus Jones in 1993. Releases were "The Devil You Know", "The Right Decision" and "Zeroes and Ones". "The Devil You Know" reached number 1 on the Modern Rock chart in the U.S., while "Zeroes and Ones" reached number 30 in the UK charts.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Perverse

    per-vėrs′, adj. turned aside: obstinate in the wrong: stubborn: vexatious.—adv. Perverse′ly.—ns. Perverse′ness, Perver′sity, state or quality of being perverse: inclination to oppose: wickedness.—adj. Perver′sive, tending to pervert. [L. perversus, turned the wrong way.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of perverse in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of perverse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of perverse in a Sentence

  1. Stephen Jay Gould:

    In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

  2. Aaron Blacksberg:

    It's really perverse. It's a filthy word in this context, everything he says is disgusting and he intends it to be disgusting.

  3. Seth Winter:

    It sounds a little bit distorted or perverse, whatever the appropriate word is, but it just raises awareness that there are Olympic Games going on in South America and you'd have to be hibernating under a rock not to understand that.

  4. President Kenyatta:

    I will lead a national coordinated effort ... to reverse perverse incentives that lead to corruption, close the loopholes that dishonest officials use to steal and to tighten our legislation work.

  5. Thomas Mann:

    Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous- to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.

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Translations for perverse

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"perverse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/perverse>.

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    offensive to the mind
    • A. repugnant
    • B. pecuniary
    • C. lacerate
    • D. inexpiable

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