- The definition of adverse is unfavorable or acting against a person, goal or circumstance.
Hurricanes with strong winds, tornadoes and hail storms are each an example of an adverse weather condition.
- moving or working in an opposite or contrary direction; opposed: adverse river currents
- unfavorable; harmful: the adverse effects of a drought
- opposite in position
- Bot. turned toward the stem
Origin of adverseMiddle English ; from Old French avers, advers ; from Classical Latin adversus, turned opposite to, past participle of advertere, advert
- Acting or serving to oppose; antagonistic: adverse criticism.
- Contrary to one's interests or welfare; harmful or unfavorable: adverse circumstances.
- Moving in an opposite or opposing direction: adverse currents.
Origin of adverseMiddle English, from Old French advers, from Latin adversus, past participle of advertere, to turn toward : ad-, ad- + vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(comparative adverser, superlative adversest)
- Unfavorable; antagonistic in purpose or effect; hostile; actively opposing one's interests or wishes; contrary to one's welfare; acting against; working in an opposing direction.
- adverse criticism
- Opposed; contrary; opposing one's interests or desire.
- adverse circumstances.
- (not comparable) Opposite; confronting.
- the adverse page
- the adverse party
- 1809, Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, Google Books
- Calpe's adverse height / […] must greet my sight
Adverse is sometimes confused with averse, though the 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 that "has an aversion to".