What does reverse mean?

Definitions for reverse

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word reverse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. reverse, contrary, opposite(noun)

    a relation of direct opposition

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

  2. reverse, reverse gear(noun)

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

  3. reverse, reversal, setback, blow, black eye(noun)

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

  4. reverse, verso(noun)

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

  5. reverse(noun)

    (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, turnaround(adj)

    turning in the opposite direction

  7. rearward, reverse(adj)

    directed or moving toward the rear

    "a rearward glance"; "a rearward movement"

  8. reverse(adj)

    of the transmission gear causing backward movement in a motor vehicle

    "in reverse gear"

  9. inverse, reverse(verb)

    reversed (turned backward) in order or nature or effect

  10. change by reversal, turn, reverse(verb)

    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, reverse(verb)

    turn inside out or upside down

  12. overrule, overturn, override, overthrow, reverse(verb)

    rule against

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

  13. revoke, annul, lift, countermand, reverse, repeal, overturn, rescind, vacate(verb)

    cancel officially

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

  14. invert, reverse(verb)

    reverse the position, order, relation, or condition of

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


  1. reverse(Noun)

    The opposite of something.

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

  2. reverse(Noun)

    The act of going backwards; a reversal.

  3. reverse(Noun)

    A piece of misfortune; a setback.

  4. reverse(Noun)

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

  5. reverse(Noun)

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

  6. reverse(Noun)

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

  7. reverse(Verb)

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

  8. reverse(Verb)

    To turn something inside out or upside down.

  9. reverse(Verb)

    To transpose the positions of two things.

  10. reverse(Verb)

    To return, come back.

  11. reverse(Verb)

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

  12. reverse(Verb)

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

  13. reverse(Verb)

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

  14. reverse(Verb)

    To place a set of points in the reverse position

  15. reverse(Verb)

    to move from the normal position to the reverse position

  16. reverse(Adverb)

    In a reverse way or direction; upside-down.

  17. reverse(Adjective)

    Opposite, contrary; going in the opposite direction.

  18. reverse(Adjective)

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

    He selected reverse gear.

  19. reverse(Adjective)

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

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reverse(adj)

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

  2. Reverse(adj)

    turned upside down; greatly disturbed

  3. Reverse(adj)

    reversed; as, a reverse shell

  4. Reverse(adj)

    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. Reverse(adj)

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

  6. Reverse(adj)

    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. Reverse(adj)

    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. Reverse(adj)

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

  9. Reverse(adj)

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

  10. Reverse(adj)

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

  11. Reverse(adj)

    to cause to return; to recall

  12. Reverse(adj)

    to change totally; to alter to the opposite

  13. Reverse(adj)

    to turn upside down; to invert

  14. Reverse(adj)

    hence, to overthrow; to subvert

  15. Reverse(adj)

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

  16. Reverse(verb)

    to return; to revert

  17. Reverse(verb)

    to become or be reversed

  18. Origin: [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. reverse

    To cause a mode of transport or a vehicle to operate or move in a specific direction according to the manufacturers design.

    She moved the car into reverse by moving the gearstick

    Submitted by MaryC on June 7, 2016  

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. severer

  3. reveres

How to pronounce reverse?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say reverse in sign language?

  1. reverse


  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. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown:

    It is a poison pill in reverse.

  2. Alfonso Romo:

    We will not reverse the energy reform.

  3. Friedrich von Schlegel:

    The historian is a prophet in reverse.

  4. Judge Brian Currey:

    Accordingly, we swipe left, and reverse.

  5. Japanese Proverb:

    The reverse side also has a reverse side.

Images & Illustrations of reverse

  1. reversereversereversereversereverse

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for reverse

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • Rückwärtsgang, umgekehrtGerman
  • όπισθενGreek
  • al revés, reverso, marcha atrás, en sentido contrarioSpanish
  • marche arrièreFrench
  • ribaltato, retromarcia, invertito, inversoItalian
  • 裏返す, 逆進, あべこべ, 裏, 覆す, 逆, 逆転Japanese
  • achteruitDutch
  • marcha ré, inverter, reverter, ré, versoPortuguese
  • întoarce, inversă, contrariu, abroga, spate, bascula, verso, revers, răsturna, dos, răsturnat, invers, anula, revocaRomanian
  • противоположный, обратныйRussian
  • backSwedish
  • ถอยหลังThai
  • tersTurkish
  • скасувати, касуватиUkrainian
  • số deVietnamese

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"reverse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 19 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reverse>.

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