Share this entry

Share this page

obverse

Line breaks: ob|verse
Pronunciation: /ˈɒbvəːs
 
/

Definition of obverse in English:

noun

[usually in singular]
1The side of a coin or medal bearing the head or principal design.
Example sentences
  • It was no wonder that this minting machine was chosen as part of the design for the obverse of the medal.
  • The obverse of the medal shows the portrait of King Louis XIV and the reverse shows the Thai ambassadors.
  • The obverse of the medal bears the text, AWARDED BY THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA and a graphic device assumed to be the logo of the Franklin Institute.
1.1The design or inscription on the principal side of a coin.
Example sentences
  • It would help to ascertain the temporal relationship between the inscriptions on the reverse and the quota list on the obverse.
  • Nevertheless, it is not impossible that the reverse inscription is separated temporally from the obverse.
  • It is large, 245 mm, and it is the same as the obverse of the medals struck for the same occasion.
2The opposite or counterpart of a fact or truth: true solitude is the obverse of true society
More example sentences
  • The obverse of blocking maritime communications - in fact, the object of naval warfare, in Corbett's view - is protecting them.
  • But consider the obverse of Acton's terse observation: powerlessness corrupts and absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely.
  • Equally questionable is the obverse of the Harmon doctrine, the principle of absolute territorial integrity or riparian rights.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
1Of or denoting the obverse of a coin or medal.
Example sentences
  • The designs of the medals are based on a traditional style that includes a generic obverse side, based on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.
  • One of them depicts a winged victory and on the obverse side are engraved the words: ‘The Great War for Civilisation’.
  • On its obverse side is the image of two worlds between two columns, representing the Pillars of Hercules.
2Corresponding to something else as its opposite or counterpart: the obverse fates of the principals
More example sentences
  • But regrettably there was an obverse side to all this.
  • But isn't occupational mobility of this kind a great strength, the obverse side of robust job creation?
  • Of course there's an obverse side to this move, it would also give the government the power to take away licences.

Origin

mid 17th century (in the sense 'turned towards the observer'): from Latin obversus, past participle of obvertere 'turn towards' (see obvert).

Derivatives

obversely

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • But if Russell was in love with his own country, he grew to hate them with an obversely equivalent passion.
  • The devotional significance of sacramental topoi is complemented by what may be characterized, obversely, as a sacramentalization of the devotional sphere.

Definition of obverse in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day boscage
Pronunciation: ˈbɒskɪdʒ
noun
a mass of trees or shrubs