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From Latin aversus, past participle of avertere (to avert).



averse (comparative more averse, superlative most averse)

  1. Having a repugnance or opposition of mind.
    Synonyms: disliking, disinclined, fromward, unwilling, reluctant, loath
    • 2004, Arthur Schopenhauer, chapter 2, in Essays of Schopenhauer[1]:
      This is why the most eminent intellects have always been strongly averse to any kind of disturbance, interruption and distraction, and above everything to that violent interruption which is caused by noise; other people do not take any particular notice of this sort of thing.
    • 1885, E. T. A. Hoffmann, The Entail[2], archived from the original on 13 April 2011:
      “I assure you, cousin,” replied the old gentleman, “that the Baron, notwithstanding his unpleasant manner, is really one of the most excellent and kind-hearted men in the world. As I have already told you, he did not assume these manners until the time he became lord of the entail; previous to then he was a modest, gentle youth. Besides, he is not, after all, so bad as you make him out to be; and further, I should like to know why you are so averse to him.” As my uncle said these words he smiled mockingly, and the blood rushed hotly and furiously into my face.
  2. Turned away or backward.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      The tracks averse a lying notice gave, / And led the searcher backward from the cave.
  3. (obsolete) Lying on the opposite side (to or from).
  4. (heraldry) Aversant; of a hand: turned so as to show the back.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The terms adverse and averse are sometimes confused, though their meanings are somewhat different. Adverse most often refers to things, denoting something that is in opposition to someone's interests — something one might refer to as an adversity or adversary — (adverse winds; an attitude adverse to our ideals). Averse usually refers to people, and implies one has a distaste, disinclination, or aversion toward something (a leader averse to war; an investor averse to risk taking). Averse is most often used with "to" in a construction like "I am averse to…". Adverse shows up less often in this type of construction, describing a person instead of a thing, and should carry a meaning of "actively opposed to" rather than "has an aversion to".
  • Averse from is an older form, corresponding to the modern averse to.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



averse (third-person singular simple present averses, present participle aversing, simple past and past participle aversed)

  1. (transitive, obsolete, rare) To turn away.
    • 1808, The Harleian miscellany:
      [] and, in this panegyrick of the Teutonick blood, I have so prolixly insisted, not only to vindicate our own, as being a stream of the same, and to evince the nobility thereof, but withal to convince the folly of those wretches among us, who aversing ours do so much adhere unto, and dote upon descents from France and Normandy.
    • 1859, The Yale Literary Magazine, volume 24, number 7, page 302:
      The inconveniences aversing from clandestine marriages are pointedly depicted in the last two lines, teaching lessons of morality to all romantic babies.

See also[edit]


  • averse”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.





averse f (plural averses)

  1. (of rain) shower, rainshower

Further reading[edit]





  1. vocative masculine singular of āversus