- 1(Of a person or their actions) showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences: Kate’s perverse decision not to cooperateMore example sentences
- So his decision to show the way last night smacked of a perverse desire to prove something to himself and the world.
- I always have this perverse but burning desire to be scared, and it's hard for me to achieve this goal simply because it's hard for me to get scared.
- But I have this perverse desire to be shaved with a cut-throat razor - by an expert.
- 1.1Contrary to the accepted or expected standard or practice: in two general elections the outcome was quite perverseMore example sentences
- There is sometimes in us a perverse refusal to accept or to believe in good, a deep-seated, hardened refusal which belittles or despises good.
- It is perverse because everyone accepts that regular exercise helps reduce the risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.
- Now, this standard has a certain perverse appeal, at least if we felt it would be universally followed.
- 1.2 Law (Of a verdict) against the weight of evidence or the direction of the judge on a point of law.More example sentences
- Where, however, a jury reaches a perverse verdict on the evidence, it is open to the Court of Appeal, to reverse that verdict.
- It could only do so if satisfied that the decision was so perverse that the judge must have fallen into error.
- It is a perverse verdict and it is a miscarriage of justice in relation to costs.
- 1.3Sexually perverted.More example sentences
- In this strategy I am thankfully aided by Floyd, who is doubtless the most perverse sexual deviant ever to reside in our fair city of Wellington.
- And there's a sort of perverse sexiness, a kinky transgression, about wearing make-up with a bikini, like teaming high heels with a swimsuit.
- Coming to terms with sexuality is not perverse.
- [sentence adverb]: perversely, she felt nearer to tears now than at any other moment in the conversationMore example sentences
- Are we a life-affirming society or one that perversely courts death?
- It's perversely easy to misinterpret someone through the written word.
- Today, she is wearing a plain black ankle-length dress decorated with flowers, perversely projecting a rather saintly look.
- More example sentences
- This is partly because he is compassionate about the suffering of ordinary Europeans, but also exasperated by their masochism and perverseness.
- What distinguishes his recent work is an almost maternal sympathy for the perverseness of the human animal - and the twists in its fate.
- Such Delphic obscurity was not inspired by mere perverseness.
late Middle English (in the sense 'turned away from what is right or good'): from Old French pervers(e), from Latin perversus 'turned around', from the verb pervertere (see pervert).