Definition of reversal in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈvərsəl/


1A change to an opposite direction, position, or course of action: a dramatic reversal in population decline in the Alps the reversal of tidal currents
More example sentences
  • The data therefore chronicle a dramatic reversal in the direction of invasion.
  • Clearly, such a reversal of the current course would not be achievable overnight.
  • The mayor's comments marked a reversal of his previous position on the issue.
swap, exchange, change, swapping, interchange
alteration, changing;
countermanding, undoing, overturning, overthrow, disallowing, overriding, overruling, veto, vetoing, revocation, repeal, rescinding, annulment, nullification, voiding, invalidation, abrogation
1.1 Law An annulment of a judgment, sentence, or decree made by a lower court or authority: the Court has upheld the appellate justices in their reversal of the trial court judgment
More example sentences
  • All they can achieve, they assume, is the preservation of a clean trial record for appeal, and the reversal of the trial court ruling.
  • After three trials on separate charges arising out of the original events, resulting in three guilty verdicts, three appeals court reversals, and one acquittal, Cortez was finally convicted of murder.
  • The reversal in the Supreme Court turned on the application of s.2 of the Charter.
1.2An adverse change of fortune: the league champions suffered a reversal at the finals last month
More example sentences
  • Last night O'Sullivan suffered a similar reversal, just as he had done in the 1997 final against Steve Davis.
  • Tony Blair and Mr Brown had made clear beforehand they would not implement the review but the reversals were the first suffered by the Labour leadership at the conference since a revolt over pensions two years ago.
  • But the party suffered serious reversals Feb. 25, when it lost all of four state-level elections.
setback, reverse, upset, failure, misfortune, mishap, disaster, blow, disappointment, adversity, hardship, affliction, vicissitude, defeat;
bad luck
1.3 Photography Direct production of a positive image from an exposed film or plate; direct reproduction of a positive or negative image.
Example sentences
  • Liam states that pinholes do not occur with reversal processing of lith film, but we included a water bath anyway since it doesn't take long.
  • This was a ‘five lights’ production filmed on 16 mm reversal stock because they couldn't afford better.
  • Since super-8 film is reversal stock like slide film, I had never thought a super-8 negative could exist.


Late 15th century (as a legal term): from the verb reverse + -al.

Words that rhyme with reversal

disbursal, dispersal, Purcell, rehearsal, succursal, tercel, transversal, traversal, universal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·ver·sal

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