Meaning of INVERSION in English


ə̇nˈvər]zhən, -və̄], -vəi] also ]shən noun

( -s )

Etymology: Latin inversion-, inversio, from inversus (past participle of invertere to invert) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at invert

1. : an act or result of turning inside out or upside down : flexure , doubling : as

a. : a folding back of rock strata upon themselves by which their sequence seems reversed

b. : a dislocation of a bodily organ in which it is turned partially or wholly inside out

inversion of the uterus

c. : a condition of being turned inward

inversion of the foot

d. : retroflexion 3

2. : a reversal of position, order, or relationship: as

a. : the reverse of an established pattern

the structure of an insect … is an almost complete inversion of what prevails in a vertebrate animal — A.D.Imms

so strange an inversion of the paternal and filial relations as this proposition of his son to pay him a hundred pounds — George Eliot


(1) : inverted order

(2) : anastrophe

c. : a change of cadence by the introduction in a metrical series of a foot in which arsis and thesis have positions symmetrically opposed to the positions they have in the normal especially adjacent feet of the series : shift of cadence from rising to falling or from falling to rising — compare substitution


(1) of an interval : a raising of the lower or dropping of the upper tone by an octave

(2) of a triad or seventh chord : a transposition of the root to some voice other than the bass

(3) of a melody : a repetition of a phrase or subject (as of a fugue) with each ascending interval inverted into a corresponding descending interval and vice versa

(4) in double counterpoint : a transposition of an upper and a lower voice part

(5) : a transferring of a pedal point from the bass to an upper part

e. logic : the operation of immediate inference which gives an inverse proposition — see inverse III 2


(1) : a breaking off of a chromosome section and its subsequent reattachment in reversed position

(2) : such a chromosome section


a. : a change in the order of the terms of a mathematical proportion effected by inverting each ratio

b. : the operation of inverting or forming the inverse either of a magnitude or of an operation

c. : a change from the order in which elements or parcels of objects are arranged naturally or normally

4. : homosexuality


a. : a conversion of a substance showing dextrorotation into one showing levorotation or vice versa

the inversion of sucrose involves hydrolysis of a dextrorotatory material to an equimolar mixture of d -glucose and d -fructose that is levorotatory

b. : a substitution of one of the groups attached to the asymmetric atom of an optically active organic molecule so that an original clockwise arrangement of atoms or groups becomes counterclockwise

c. : a change of a crystalline substance from one polymorphic form into another

6. : a conversion of direct current into alternating current

7. : a reversal of normal atmospheric temperature gradient : increase of temperature of the air with increasing altitude

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