• (British) IPA: /ɹɪˈvɜːs/


  1. Opposite, contrary; going in the opposite direction. [from 14th c.]
    We ate the meal in reverse order, starting with dessert and ending with the starter.
    The mirror showed us a reverse view of the scene.
  2. Pertaining to engines, vehicle movement etc. moving in a direction opposite to the usual direction. [from 19th c.]
    He selected reverse gear.
  3. (rail transport, of points) To be in the non-default position; to be set for the lesser-used route.
  4. Turned upside down; greatly disturbed.
    • He found the sea diverse / With many a windy storm reverse.
  5. (botany) Reversed.
    a reverse shell
  6. (genetics) In which cDNA synthetization is obtained from an RNA template.
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Adverb


  1. (now rare) In a reverse way or direction; upside-down. [from 16thc. (from the 14thc. in Middle English)]
    • 1963, Donal Serrell Thomas, Points of Contact:
      The man was killed to feed his image fat / Within this pictured world that ran reverse, / Where miracles alone were ever plain.
Synonyms Noun

reverse (plural reverses)

  1. The opposite of something. [from 14th c.]
    We believed the Chinese weren't ready for us. In fact, the reverse was true.
  2. The act of going backwards; a reversal. [from 15th c.]
    • By a reverse of fortune, Stephen becomes rich.
  3. A piece of misfortune; a setback. [from 16th c.]
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 309:
      In fact, though the Russians did not yet know it, the British had met with a reverse.
  4. The tails side of a coin, or the side of a medal or badge that is opposite the obverse. [from 17th c.]
  5. The side of something facing away from a viewer, or from what is considered the front; the other side. [from 18th c.]
  6. The gear setting of an automobile that makes it travel backwards. [from 19th c.]
  7. A thrust in fencing made with a backward turn of the hand; a backhanded stroke.
  8. (surgery) A turn or fold made in bandaging, by which the direction of the bandage is changed.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

reverse (reverses, present participle reversing; past and past participle reversed)

  1. (transitive) To turn something around so that it faces the opposite direction or runs in the opposite sequence.
    to reverse the order of books on a shelf
    to reverse a portion of video footage
  2. (transitive) To turn something inside out or upside down.
    • A pyramid reversed may stand upon his point if balanced by admirable skill.
  3. (transitive) To transpose the positions of two things.
  4. (transitive) To change totally; to alter to the opposite.
    • c. 1588–1593, William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      Reverse the doom of death.
    • 1815 February 23, [Walter Scott], Guy Mannering; or, The Astrologer. [...] In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, […]; and Archibald Constable and Co., […], OCLC 742335644 ↗:
  5. (obsolete, intransitive) To return, come back.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.4:
      Bene they all dead, and laide in dolefull herse? / Or doen they onely sleepe, and shall againe reuerse?
  6. (obsolete, transitive) To turn away; to cause to depart.
    • And that old dame said many an idle verse, / Out of her daughter's heart fond fancies to reverse.
  7. (obsolete, transitive) To cause to return; to recall.
    • And to his fresh remembrance did reverse / The ugly view of his deformed crimes.
  8. (legal) To revoke a law, or to change a decision into its opposite.
    to reverse a judgment, sentence, or decree
  9. (ergative) To cause a mechanism or a vehicle to operate or move in the opposite direction to normal.
  10. (chemistry) To change the direction of a reaction such that the products become the reactants and vice-versa.
  11. (rail transport, transitive) To place a set of points in the reverse position
  12. (rail transport, intransitive, of points) to move from the normal position to the reverse position
  13. To overthrow; to subvert.
    • 1703, Alexander Pope, transl., “The Thebais of Statius”, in The Works of Alexander Pope, London: H. Lintont et al., published 1751:
      These can divide, and these reverse, the state.
    • Custom […] reverses even the distinctions of good and evil.
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations

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