Meaning of ADVERSE in English

I. (ˈ)ad|vərs, -ə̄s, -əis also ədˈv- adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French advers, from Latin adversus (past participle of advertere to turn to) — more at advert

1. : acting against or in a contrary direction : opposing

adverse winds

hindered by adverse forces

: hostile , opposed , antagonistic

her feelings were still adverse to any man save one — Jane Austen

a spirit adverse to class distinctions


a. : in opposition to one's interests : detrimental , unfavorable

an adverse balance of trade

circumstances adverse to success

adverse fortune

an adverse verdict

b. : tending to stress faults and withhold praise : condemnatory , critical

irritated by adverse reviews of his play

overheard several adverse comments


a. : opposite in position : confronting

Calpe's adverse height — Lord Byron

the two adverse carriages would therefore, to a certainty, be traveling on the same side — Thomas De Quincey

b. botany : turned toward the stem or axis

adverse leaves

— opposed to averse

4. law : having opposing interests : having interests for the preservation of which opposition is essential


inimical , antagonistic , counter , counteractive : adverse describes what is unfavorable, harmful, difficult, detrimental; it may refer to opposition, often decisive or fateful opposition

what very small things in adverse circumstances suffice to make people happy — a little food, warmth, and something to look forward to — Hervey Allen

an adverse wind had so delayed him that his cargo brought but half its proper price — Amy Lowell

inimical may describe strongly adversative or prejudicial tendencies or effects or determinedly hostile persons, sometimes malevolent

the fact of universal elementary education is inimical to poetry — C.D.Lewis

nor was Miss Briggs, although forced to adopt a hostile attitude, secretly inimical to Rawdon — W.M.Thackeray

antagonistic , more frequently applied to persons than to things, may suggest incompatibility, antipathy, irreconcilability, or hostile opposition

the West Indian planters, upon whom the successful working of the system largely depended, were not merely unsympathetic but violently antagonistic to it — Times Literary Supplement

the antagonistic principles of aristocracy and democracy — V.L.Parrington

counter may be applied to opposition, to action or tendency in an opposing direction, sometimes to parrying, retaliation, or reprisal

as I reached the limit of my swing and prepared to rush back on the counter swing — Jack London

currents and counter currents

a counter threat that the interdict would be followed by the banishment of the clergy — J.R.Green

counteractive refers to opposition tending to check, nullify, or destroy

counteractive measures against the epidemic

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: oppose

adverse a land patent

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.