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From Middle French invertir



invert (third-person singular simple present inverts, present participle inverting, simple past and past participle inverted)

  1. (transitive) To turn (something) upside down or inside out; to place in a contrary order or direction.
    to invert a cup, the order of words, rules of justice, etc.
  2. (transitive, music) To move (the root note of a chord) up or down an octave, resulting in a change in pitch.
  3. (chemistry, intransitive) To undergo inversion, as sugar.
  4. To divert; to convert to a wrong use.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knolles to this entry?)
  5. (anatomy) To turn (the foot) inwards.

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invert (plural inverts)

  1. (obsolete, psychology) A homosexual.
    • 1897, W. Havelock Ellis, Sexual Inversion, p. 202:
      We can seldom, therefore, congratulate ourselves on the success of any "cure" of inversion. The success is unlikely to be either permanent or complete, in the case of a decided invert; and in the most successful cases we have simply put into the invert's hands a power of reproduction which it is undesirable he should possess.
  2. (architecture) An inverted arch (as in a sewer). *
  3. The base of a tunnel on which the road or railway may be laid and used when construction is through unstable ground. It may be flat or form a continuous curve with the tunnel arch. [1]
  4. (civil engineering) The lowest point inside a pipe at a certain point.
  5. (civil engineering) An elevation of a pipe at a certain point along the pipe.
  6. A skateboarding trick where the skater grabs the board and plants a hand on the coping so as to balance upside-down on the lip of a ramp.
  7. (zoology, informal) invertebrate



invert (not comparable)

  1. (chemistry) Subjected to the process of inversion; inverted; converted.
    invert sugar


  1. ^ invert (in'‑vert) The floor or bottom of the internal cross section of a closed conduit, such as an aqueduct, tunnel, or drain - The term originally referred to the inverted arch used to form the bottom of a masonry‑lined sewer or tunnel (Jackson, 1997) Wilson, W.E., Moore, J.E., (2003) Glossary of Hydrology, Berlin: Springer