Definition of averse in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈvərs/


[predicative, usually with negative] (averse to)
Having a strong dislike of or opposition to something: as a former CIA director, he is not averse to secrecy [in combination]: the bank’s approach has been risk-averse
More example sentences
  • Strong and aggressive, he is not averse to a bit of shirt pulling and uses his arms effectively to hold off defenders.
  • Now some of you may know that if an opportunity arises of a little fun with a person of the opposite sex I'm not averse, rare as it is.
  • Some will be risk averse, others close to retirement and unwilling to jeopardise their futures.
opposed to, against, antipathetic to, hostile to, ill-disposed to, resistant to;
disinclined to, reluctant to, unwilling to, loath to
informal anti


The widespread phrase for expressing dislike, opposition, or hostility (to things, usually not people) is averse to. Similarly, one may be said to have an aversion to (usually not aversion from) certain things or activities (but usually not people): Katherine was known for her aversion to flying, but she was brave and boarded the plane anyway. Averse from was prescribed by Samuel Johnson and is preferred by traditionalists, who condemn averse to as nonsensical (the Latin origin of averse has the meaning ‘turn from’). In both US and British English, however, averse to is now by far the more common occurrence. See also adverse (usage).


Late 16th century: from Latin aversus 'turned away from', past participle of avertere (see avert).

Words that rhyme with averse

amerce, asperse, biodiverse, burse, coerce, converse, curse, diverse, Erse, hearse, immerse, intersperse, nurse, perse, perverse, purse, reimburse, submerse, terce, terse, transverse, verse, worse

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·verse

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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