Meaning of REVERSE in English

I. rə̇ˈvərs, rēˈ-, -və̄s, -vəis adjective

Etymology: Middle English revers, from Middle French, from Latin reversus, past participle of revertere to turn back — more at revert


a. : turned back : opposite or contrary to one another or to a thing specified

came back in the reverse order

b. : having the back presented to the observer or opponent — opposed to obverse

2. obsolete : backhanded

a reverse blow

reverse thrust

3. : relating to, facing, or commanding the rear of a military force

4. : acting or operating in opposite or contrary fashion especially to what is usual

5. : effecting reverse movement or operation

a reverse gear



(1) : so made that the part of a print normally black is white and vice versa

a reverse photoengraving

(2) : flopped

b. : constituting a mirror image

the reverse symbols ☞ and ☜

a reverse positive image

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English reversen, from Middle French reverser, from Late Latin reversare to turn round, freq. of Latin revertere to turn back

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to cause to return

2. obsolete : overthrow , subvert

3. : to turn completely about in position or direction : change to the opposite as regards position : transpose

a picture reversed in reproduction

4. : to turn upside down : invert

reversing his glass as a signal that he would drink no more

5. : annul: as

a. : to overthrow (a legal decision) by a contrary decision : make void (as for error)

the higher court may reverse the judgment

b. : to take an opposite stand from that formerly held by (oneself) — usually used with about or over

reversed himself about the superiority of mother's cooking

c. : to change to the contrary in character or trend

reverse a policy

6. : to cause to go or move in the opposite direction

reverse the flow of a stream

especially : to cause (as an engine or machine) to perform its revolutions or action in the opposite direction


a. : to use (as a tool) or do (as an experiment) in the opposite way

b. : to produce by or use in reverse printing

reversed plates

reversing lettering into a color panel

intransitive verb

1. obsolete

a. : to draw or move back : turn away : recoil

b. : to fall down : turn over

c. : return

2. : to alter or revoke a decision (as on a point of law)

3. : to turn or move in the opposite direction (as in waltzing) : become reversed

4. : to put a mechanism (as an engine or a machine) in reverse

5. : to make a reverse bid in bridge

Synonyms: see revoke

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English revers, from Middle French, from revers, adjective

1. : something that is directly opposite or contrary to something else : contrary , opposite

hoped for a sunny day but the fact was just the reverse

— often followed by of or to

the reverse of good luck

2. obsolete : a backhanded thrust, cut, or stroke (as with a sword)

3. : an act or instance of reversing: as

a. : a turning completely about (as in dancing) : a complete change or reversal

an unexpected reverse of plans

b. : a change from better to worse : misfortune , check , defeat — often used in plural

meet with heavy reverses


a. : matter that appears or is presented when something is reverted or is turned or viewed oppositely to the position or direction in which it is ordinarily seen

the reverse of a leaf

b. : the side of a coin, token, medal, seal, or currency note that is considered the back

c. : the back of a book leaf : verso

d. : an inverted utterance (as a phrase or sentence)

e. : something (as a negative or lettering) produced by or used in reverse printing

5. : the rear of a military force



(1) : a gear that reverses something ; also : the mechanical train brought into play when such a gear is used

something out of order in the reverse

put the transmission in reverse

(2) : movement or course in reverse

b. : a turn or fold made in bandaging by which the direction of the bandage is changed

c. : an offensive play in football in which a back moving in one direction passes or hands the ball to a player moving in the opposite direction

7. : reverse bid

Synonyms: see converse

- in reverse

IV. adverb

Etymology: Middle English revers, from revers, adjective

: so as to oppose : reversely

acted reverse to his own best interest

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