Definition of


  1. (noun, linkdef) a relation of direct opposition
  2. (noun, artifact) the gears by which the motion of a machine can be reversed
  3. (noun, event) an unfortunate happening that hinders or impedes; something that is thwarting or frustrating
  4. (noun, artifact) the side of a coin or medal that does not bear the principal design
  5. (noun, act) (American football) a running play in which a back running in one direction hands the ball to a back running in the opposite direction
  6. (noun, act) turning in the opposite direction
  7. (verb, change) change to the contrary
    the tides turned against him
    public opinion turned when it was revealed that the president had an affair with a White House intern
  8. (verb, change) turn inside out or upside down
  9. (verb, cognition) rule against
  10. (verb, communication) cancel officially
    lift an embargo
    vacate a death sentence
  11. (verb, change) reverse the position, order, relation, or condition of
  12. (adj, all) directed or moving toward the rear
    a rearward movement
  13. (adj, all) of the transmission gear causing backward movement in a motor vehicle
  14. (adj, all) reversed (turned backward) in order or nature or effect

via WordNet, Princeton University

Antonyms of Reverse

forward, obverse

Origin of the word Reverse

  1. c.1300, from O.Fr. revers "reverse, cross," from L. reversus, pp. of revertere "turn back" (see revert). Reverse angle in film-making is from 1934. Reverse discrimination is attested from 1976. more
  2. late 14c., "opposite or contrary" (of something), from reverse (adv./adj.); meaning "a defeat, a change of fortune" is from 1520s; meaning "back side of a coin" is from 1620s. Of gear-shifts in motor cars, from 1875. As a type of sports play (originally rugby) it is recorded from 1921. more
  3. early 14c., from O.Fr. reverser (12c.); see reverse (adv./adj.). more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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