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From Old French pervertir, itself from the Latin pervertō.



pervert (plural perverts)

  1. (dated) One who has been perverted; one who has turned to error; one who has turned to a twisted sense of values or morals.
  2. A person whose sexual habits are not considered acceptable.
    Those perverts were trying to spy on us while we changed clothes!

Usage notes[edit]

  • In contemporary usage, pervert is usually understood to refer to a sexually perverted person. Traditionally the word was mainly associated with persons of false religious beliefs.


  • (sexually perverted person): perv (slang)




pervert (third-person singular simple present perverts, present participle perverting, simple past and past participle perverted)

  1. (transitive) To turn another way; to divert.
    • Shakespeare
      Let's follow him, and pervert the present wrath.
  2. (transitive) To turn from truth, rectitude, or propriety; to divert from a right use, end, or way; to lead astray; to corrupt.
    • Milton
      He, in the serpent, had perverted Eve.
    • 2004 April 15, “Morning swoop in hunt for Jodi's killer”, in The Scotsman[1]:
      A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "We can confirm that a 15-year-old boy has been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of Jodi Jones. A 45-year-old has also been arrested in connection with allegations of attempting to pervert the course of justice. A report on this has been sent to the procurator fiscal."
  3. To misapply; to misinterpret designedly.
    pervert one's words
  4. (intransitive) To become perverted; to take the wrong course.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Testament of Love to this entry?)



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Related terms[edit]



From the Latin verb pervertere "to overturn" or "to subvert".


pervert f

  1. a pervert