(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
- 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".
First attested around 1374, from Old French avers (French: adverse), from Latin adversus (“turned against”), past participle of advertere, from ad- (“to”) + vertere (“to turn”). See also versus.