What does reverse mean?

Definitions for reverse

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. reverse, contrary, oppositenoun

    a relation of direct opposition

    "we thought Sue was older than Bill but just the reverse was true"

  2. reverse, reverse gearnoun

    the gears by which the motion of a machine can be reversed

  3. reverse, reversal, setback, blow, black eyenoun

    an unfortunate happening that hinders or impedes; something that is thwarting or frustrating

  4. reverse, versonoun

    the side of a coin or medal that does not bear the principal design

  5. reversenoun

    (American football) a running play in which a back running in one direction hands the ball to a back running in the opposite direction

  6. reversion, reverse, reversal, turnabout, turnaroundadjective

    turning in the opposite direction

  7. rearward, reverseadjective

    directed or moving toward the rear

    "a rearward glance"; "a rearward movement"

  8. reverseadjective

    of the transmission gear causing backward movement in a motor vehicle

    "in reverse gear"

  9. inverse, reverseverb

    reversed (turned backward) in order or nature or effect

  10. change by reversal, turn, reverseverb

    change to the contrary

    "The trend was reversed"; "the tides turned against him"; "public opinion turned when it was revealed that the president had an affair with a White House intern"

  11. turn back, invert, reverseverb

    turn inside out or upside down

  12. overrule, overturn, override, overthrow, reverseverb

    rule against

    "The Republicans were overruled when the House voted on the bill"

  13. revoke, annul, lift, countermand, reverse, repeal, overturn, rescind, vacateverb

    cancel officially

    "He revoked the ban on smoking"; "lift an embargo"; "vacate a death sentence"

  14. invert, reverseverb

    reverse the position, order, relation, or condition of

    "when forming a question, invert the subject and the verb"


  1. reversenoun

    The opposite of something.

    We believed the Chinese weren't ready for us. In fact, the reverse was true.

  2. reversenoun

    The act of going backwards; a reversal.

  3. reversenoun

    A piece of misfortune; a setback.

  4. reversenoun

    The tails side of a coin, or the side of a medal or badge that is opposite the obverse.

  5. reversenoun

    The side of something facing away from a viewer, or from what is considered the front; the other side.

  6. reversenoun

    The gear setting of an automobile that makes it travel backwards.

  7. reverseverb

    To turn something around such that it faces in the opposite direction.

  8. reverseverb

    To turn something inside out or upside down.

  9. reverseverb

    To transpose the positions of two things.

  10. reverseverb

    To return, come back.

  11. reverseverb

    To revoke a law, or to change a decision into its opposite.

  12. reverseverb

    To cause a mechanism or a vehicle to operate or move in the opposite direction.

  13. reverseverb

    To change the direction of a reaction such that the products become the reactants and vice-versa.

  14. reverseverb

    To place a set of points in the reverse position

  15. reverseverb

    to move from the normal position to the reverse position

  16. reverseadverb

    In a reverse way or direction; upside-down.

  17. reverseadjective

    Opposite, contrary; going in the opposite direction.

  18. reverseadjective

    Pertaining to engines, vehicle movement etc. moving in a direction opposite to the usual direction.

    He selected reverse gear.

  19. reverseadjective

    to be in the non-default position; to be set for the lesser-used route.

  20. Etymology: From revers (noun, adjective), reversser (verb), revers (noun, adjectve), reverser (verb), and their source, reversus (past participle), reversare (verb), from re- + versare.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Reversenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    The strange reverse of fate you see;
    I pity’d you, now you may pity me. John Dryden, Aurengz.

    By a strange reverse of things, Justinian’s law, which for many ages was neglected, does now obtain, and the Theodosian code is in a manner antiquated. Thomas Baker.

    Count Tariff appeared the reverse of Goodman fact. Add.

    The performances, to which God has annexed the promises of eternity, are just the reverse of all the pursuits of sense. John Rogers.

    As the Romans set down the image and inscription of the consul, afterward of the emperor on the one side, so they changed the reverse always upon new events. William Camden.

    Our guard upon the royal side;
    On the reverse our beauty’s pride. Edmund Waller.

    Several reverses are owned to be the representations of antique figures. Joseph Addison, on Ancient Medals.

  2. To REVERSEverb

    Etymology: reversus, Lat.

    A pyramid reversed may stand upon his point, if balanced by admirable skill. William Temple, Miscellanies.

    These now controul a wretched people’s fate,
    These can divide, and these reverse the state. Alexander Pope.

    Michael’s sword stay’d not;
    But with swift wheel reverse, deep entring shar’d
    Satan’s right side. John Milton.

    Better it was in the eye of his understanding, that sometime an erroneous sentence definitive should prevail, till the same authority, perceiving such oversight, might afterwards correct or reverse it, than that strifes should have respite to grow, and not come speedily unto some end. Richard Hooker, Pref.

    A decree was made, that they had forfeited their liberties; and albeit they made great moans, yet could they not procure this sentence to be reversed. John Hayward.

    Death, his doom which I
    To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,
    To better life shall yield him. John Milton, Par. Lost.

    Though grace may have reversed the condemning sentence, and sealed the sinner’s pardon before God, yet it may have left no transcript of that pardon in the sinner’s breast. South.

    Those seem to do best, who, taking useful hints from facts, carry them in their minds to be judged of, by what they shall find in history to confirm or reverse these imperfect observations. John Locke.

    These plain characters we rarely find,
    Though strong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind;
    Or puzzling contraries confound the whole,
    Or affectations quite reverse the soul. Alexander Pope.

    With what tyranny custom governs men; it makes that reputable in one age, which was a vice in another, and reverses even the distinctions of good and evil. John Rogers.

    Well knowing true all he did rehearse,
    And to his fresh remembrance did reverse
    The ugly view of his deformed crimes. Fairy Queen.

  3. To Reverseverb

    To return. Edmund Spenser

    Etymology: revertere, reversus, Lat.


  1. reverse

    Reverse generally means to change something to its opposite state, direction, or position. It can refer to moving or making something go backward, or causing something to revert to a previous condition. In broader terms, it can also imply the cancellation or nullification of a decision or action. The specific meaning might vary depending on the context.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reverseadjective

    turned backward; having a contrary or opposite direction; hence; opposite or contrary in kind; as, the reverse order or method

  2. Reverseadjective

    turned upside down; greatly disturbed

  3. Reverseadjective

    reversed; as, a reverse shell

  4. Reverseadjective

    that which appears or is presented when anything, as a lance, a line, a course of conduct, etc., is reverted or turned contrary to its natural direction

  5. Reverseadjective

    that which is directly opposite or contrary to something else; a contrary; an opposite

  6. Reverseadjective

    the act of reversing; complete change; reversal; hence, total change in circumstances or character; especially, a change from better to worse; misfortune; a check or defeat; as, the enemy met with a reverse

  7. Reverseadjective

    the back side; as, the reverse of a drum or trench; the reverse of a medal or coin, that is, the side opposite to the obverse. See Obverse

  8. Reverseadjective

    a thrust in fencing made with a backward turn of the hand; a backhanded stroke

  9. Reverseadjective

    a turn or fold made in bandaging, by which the direction of the bandage is changed

  10. Reverseadjective

    to turn back; to cause to face in a contrary direction; to cause to depart

  11. Reverseadjective

    to cause to return; to recall

  12. Reverseadjective

    to change totally; to alter to the opposite

  13. Reverseadjective

    to turn upside down; to invert

  14. Reverseadjective

    hence, to overthrow; to subvert

  15. Reverseadjective

    to overthrow by a contrary decision; to make void; to under or annual for error; as, to reverse a judgment, sentence, or decree

  16. Reverseverb

    to return; to revert

  17. Reverseverb

    to become or be reversed

  18. Etymology: [OE. revers, OF. revers, L. reversus, p. p. of revertere. See Revert.]


  1. Reverse

    A reverse is a relatively common trick play in American football that involves one or more abrupt changes in the lateral flow of a rushing play.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Reverse

    rē-vėrs′, v.t. to place in the contrary order or position: to change wholly: to overthrow: to change by an opposite decision: to annul: to revoke, as a decree: to recall.—n. that which is reversed: the opposite: the back, esp. of a coin or medal: change: misfortune: a calamity: in fencing, a back-handed stroke: (her.) the exact contrary of what has been described just before, as an escutcheon.—adj. turned backward: having an opposite direction: upset.—n. Rever′sal, act of reversing.—adj. Reversed′, turned or changed to the contrary: inside out: (bot.) resupinate.—adv. Rever′sedly.—adj. Reverse′less, unalterable.—adv. Reverse′ly, in a reverse order: on the other hand: on the opposite.—ns. Rever′ser (Scots law), a mortgager of land; Rever′si, a game played by two persons with sixty-four counters; Reversibil′ity, the capability of being reversed, as of heat into work and work into heat.—adj. Rever′sible, that may be reversed, as in a fabric having both sides well finished.—ns. Rever′sing-cyl′inder, the cylinder of a small auxiliary steam-engine; Rever′sing-gear, those parts of a steam-engine by which the direction of the motion is changed; Rever′sing-lē′ver, a lever in a steam-engine which operates the slide-valve; Rever′sing-machine′, a moulding-machine in founding, in which the flask can be reversed; Rever′sing-mō′tion, any mechanism for changing the direction of motion of an engine; Rever′sing-shaft, a shaft which permits a reversal of the order of steam passage through the ports; Rever′sing-valve, the valve of a reversing-cylinder; Rever′sion, the act of reverting or returning: that which reverts or returns: the return or future possession of any property after some particular event: the right to future possession: (biol.) return to some type of ancestral character: return to the wild state after domestication.—adj. Rever′sionary, relating to a reversion: to be enjoyed in succession: atavic.—ns. Rever′sioner; Rever′sis, an old French game of cards in which the aim was to take the fewest tricks.—adj. Rever′sive.—n. Rever′so (print.), any one of the left-hand pages of a book.—Reverse a battery, to turn the current of electricity by means of a commutator; Reverse shell, a univalve shell which has its volutions the reversed way of the common screw; Reversionary annuity, a deferred annuity. [L. reversus, pa.p. of revertĕre, to turn back—re-, back, vertĕre, to turn.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. reverse

    A change; a vicissitude. Also, the flank at the other extremity from the pivot of a division is termed the reverse flank.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. reverse

    A change for the worse, or partial defeat.

Editors Contribution

  1. reverseverb

    To return to a previous state in opposition by writing arrangements with a metrical rhythm. 1.) Cause to move backwards. Turn something the other way around or upside down or inside out. Make something the opposite of what it was. Exchange the position or function of two people or things.

    Our Almighty God started to reverse the sins of Adam and Eve from the beginning with Jesus Christ and Saint Dismas.

    Etymology: Editing repeatedly

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on March 9, 2024  

Suggested Resources

  1. reverse

    Song lyrics by reverse -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by reverse on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reverse' in Verbs Frequency: #665

Anagrams for reverse »

  1. reserve

  2. reveres

  3. severer

  4. resever

How to pronounce reverse?

How to say reverse in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of reverse in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of reverse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of reverse in a Sentence

  1. Tim Wildmon:

    We still believe Target doesn’t value the safety of families because they’ve refused to reverse this dangerous policy.

  2. Charlie Ellingworth:

    People like the Qataris ... a year ago were big buyers and sovereign wealth funds too in London, by all accounts that's going into reverse.

  3. Douglas Scharre:

    It's not a cure, it doesn't reverse anything, it's a pretty modest impact.

  4. Jack Keane:

    [ Thursday ], we’re going to try the diplomatic option to reverse North Korea’s nuclear program, as for the military option, we’re moving there because Beijing, Shen Dingli’ve painted us into a corner. Let’s work together and denuclearize North Korea. I don’t know if they’re going to do that. But we ’ll see.

  5. James Hart Stern:

    Change it, reverse it, and ultimately destroy it.

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Translations for reverse

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"reverse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reverse>.

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    someone who takes the place of another person
    A dependable
    B blistering
    C alternate
    D brilliant

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