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See also: Evert and évért



From Late Latin ēvertere (to turn (an item of clothing) inside out), Latin ēvertere, present active infinitive of ēvertō (to turn upside down; to overturn; to reverse), from ē- (variant of ex- (prefix meaning ‘out, away’)) + vertō (to reverse; to revolve, turn; to turn around)[1] (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *wert- (to rotate, turn)).



evert (third-person singular simple present everts, present participle everting, simple past and past participle everted)

  1. (transitive, often biology, physiology) To turn inside out (like a pocket being emptied) or outwards.
    • 1809, Charles Bell, “Of Tumours of the Eyelid”, in A System of Operative Surgery, Founded on the Basis of Anatomy, volume II, London: Printed [by C. Stower] for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, []; and Cadell and Davies, [], OCLC 456927137, page 84:
      But if the conjunctiva be not diseased or very firmly united to the tumour, we had better operate without everting the eyelid, and this is possible without leaving an observable scar on the eyelid.
    • 1837, Jones Quain, “Fasciæ”, in Elements of Anatomy, 4th revised and enlarged edition, London: Printed for Taylor and Walton, [], OCLC 1078457329, paragraph 656, page 539:
      The brachial artery may be exposed and tied in any part of its course, the border of the biceps and coraco-brachialis serving as a guide to its situation. When the arm is drawn away from the side, and slightly everted, the hand being supinated, the seat of the operation is fairly brought into view.
    • 1923 February, Herman W. Marshall, quoting E. A. Cayo, “A Compilation of Current Notions on Feet”, in Journal of the National Association of Chiropodists and Pedic Items, volume 13, number 2, New York, N.Y.: National Association of Chiropodists, OCLC 12633613, page 16:
      One of the chief causes of flat foot is the natural defect of improper alignment of the leg and the foot, with the result that both muscle action and gravity act to evert and depress the foot.
    • 1958, A[rthur] H[enry] Reginald Buller, “The Sphaerobolus Gun and Its Range”, in Researches on Fungi, volume V (Hyphal Fusions and Protoplasmic Streaming in the Higher Fungi, []), New York, N.Y.: Hafner Publishing, OCLC 867370573, page 280:
      The older writers, like ourselves, were of course fascinated by the spectacle of a tiny fungus everting its inner peridium with lightning-like rapidity and casting away its ball of spores.
    • 2016, Kevin T. Patton; Gary A. Thibodeau, “Appendicular Muscles”, in Anatomy & Physiology, 9th edition, St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier, →ISBN, unit 2 (Support and Movement), page 356, column 2:
      In addition to functioning as a dorsiflexor of the foot, the extensor digitorum longus also everts the foot and extends the toes.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To move (someone or something) out of the way.
  3. (transitive, obsolete, also figuratively) To turn upside down; to overturn.
    • 1632 January 27, William Maxwell Morison, “Removing. [Earl of Lauderdale against ——.]”, in The Decisions of the Court of Session, from Its Institution until the Separation of the Court into Two Divisions in the Year 1808, Digested under Proper Heads, in the Form of a Dictionary. [], volume XXXII, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Company, published 1811, OCLC 958360465, number 28, page 13798:
      [A]s to the confession contained in the act of court, the same being only subscribed by the alleged court clerk, and not by the party, or a notary for him, cannot be of force to derogate to his prior right, which cannot be taken away, but either by oath of party, or as great a solemnity in writ, as is the writ which is desired to be everted thereby; [...]
    • 1685, Samuel Collins, “Of Seeing”, in [A System of Anatomy, Treating of the Body of Man, Beasts, Birds, Fish, Insects, and Plants: []] The Second Volume, Containing the Parts of the Middle and Highest Apartiment of Man’s Body (and Other Animals) with Its Diseases, Cases, and Cures. [], [London]: Printed by Thomas Newcomb, for the author, OCLC 223150261, book III, page 902:
      [E]very Ray ſtreaming out of a viſible point, is propagated in a direct line; ſo that the Object is everted, if the Rays do not ſuffer an Interſection, either before or behind the hole, which would not happen, if the Rays were not carried in right Lines, but refracted; [...]
    • 1726, John Ayliffe, “Of a Citation, and the Force thereof”, in Parergon Juris Canonici Anglicani: Or, A Commentary, by Way of Supplement to the Canons and Constitutions of the Church of England. [], London: Printed for the author, by D. Leach, and sold by John Walthoe [], OCLC 863444777, page 175:
      Hence it is, That if no Privilege ſhall be alledg'd or pleaded, the Court may proceed againſt the Perſon; and ſuch a Proceſs is valid, becauſe the Juriſdiction of the Judge is not yet everted and overthrown.
    • 1786 November 20, “Mr. Frere”, “[The Microcosm.] No. 3. Monday, November 20, 1786.”, in Rob[er]t Lynam, The British Essayists; with Prefaces Biographical, Historical, and Critical, [...] Thirty Volumes, with Portraits, volume XXVIII, London: Printed and published by J. F. Dove, [], published 1827, OCLC 3461328, page 14:
      [E]ven these would be infinitely disordered to find the economy of their apartments deranged by an unlucky kitten, almost faint at a broken pane, and be absolutely taken ill of an everted coal-box.
  4. (transitive, intransitive, obsolete, also figuratively) To disrupt; to overthrow.
    • 1638 December 28, The Protestation of the Generall Assembly of the Kirke of Scotland, and of the Noblemen, Barrons, Gentlemen, Borrowes, Ministers and Commons; Subscribers of the Covenant Lately, Made at the Mercate Crosse of Edinburgh the 18. of December. 1638 [Julian calendar][1], printed at Edinburgh: By Iames Bryson, published 1639, OCLC 1049094043:
      And incaſe his Majeſtie or his Commiſſioner be not preſent for the time in the town where the Aſsembly is holden, it ſhall be leaſome to the ſaid generall Aſsembly by themſelves to appoint the time and place of the next. But this declaration not only leaves all indefinit, but totally everts that power and liberty competent to them by law and cuſtome.
    • 1642, Samuell Rutherfurd [i.e., Samuel Rutherford], “Whether the Power of the Keyes of the Kingdome of Christ, be Conferred, upon the Multitude of Believers, as upon the First and Proper Subject, or upon the Church-guides?”, in A Peaceable and Temperate Plea for the Pavls Presbyterie in Scotland, or, A Modest and Brotherly Dispute of the Government of the Church of Scotland, [], London: Printed for Iohn Bartlet [], OCLC 890008189, page 12:
      That is not to be admitted which overturneth the order eſtabliſhed by Chriſt of commanding, and obeying, and which everteth the integrall members and parts of a viſible politike miniſteriall body of Chriſt, but to give the power of the keyes to all, and every one, overturneth this order of Chriſts, [...]
    • 1715, Alexander Shields, A True and Faithful Relation of the Sufferings of the Reverend and Learned Mr. Alexander Shields, Minister of the Gospel. [], [Edinburgh?: s.n.], OCLC 957693020, page 55:
      [O]verturning all the Fundamental Conſtitutions of the Government, perverting, inverting, everting all Laws, Liberties, all Priviledges of Church and State, [...]
    • 1763, James Thomson, “The Prospect: Being the Fifth Part of Liberty, a Poem”, in The Poetical Works of Mr James Thomson. [] In Two Volumes, volume II, Edinburgh: Printed by A. Donaldson and J. Reid; for Alex[ander] Donaldson [], OCLC 42742287, lines 115–117, page 123:
      Thus nations ſink, ſociety diſſolves; / Rapine, and guile, and violence break looſe, / Everting life, and turning love to gall; [...]
    • 1824, “An Homily against Peril of Idolatry, and Superfluous Decking of Churches [Homily XIV]”, in Sermons, or Homilies, Appointed to be Read in Churches in the Time of Queen Elizabeth of Famous Memory. [], London: Printed by Ellerton and Henderson, [], for the Prayer-book and Homily Society; [], OCLC 1101022214, page 207:
      [T]he greater part of Christendom, within less than three hundred years' space, being brought into captivity and most miserable thraldom under the Turks, and the noble empire of Greece clean everted.

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with avert.


Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Compare “evert, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2018; “evert, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.