from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Expressing antithesis or opposition.
  • noun A word that expresses antithesis or opposition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Expressing difference, contrariety, opposition, or antithesis: as, an adversative conjunction.
  • Of adverse nature; inimical.
  • noun A word or proposition denoting contrariety or opposition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An adversative word.
  • adjective Expressing contrariety, opposition, or antithesis; ); an adversative force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective linguistics Expressing opposition or difference.
  • noun rare, dated Something, particularly a clause or conjunction, which is adversative.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective expressing antithesis or opposition


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin adversātīvus, from adversātus, past participle of adversārī, to oppose, from adversus, against; see adverse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin adversativus ("of conjunctions, expressing opposition")


  • Each of these terms has its own adversative nuances, so you should let context guide your selection.


  • Aut was adversative: no one feared either social extremity.


  • The difficulty of preserving the effect of the Greek is increased by the want of adversative and inferential particles in English, and by the nice sense of tautology which characterizes all modern languages.

    The Dialogues of Plato

  • The structure of the Greek language is partly adversative and alternative, and partly inferential; that is to say, the members of

    The Dialogues of Plato

  • But modern languages have rubbed off this adversative and inferential form: they have fewer links of connection, there is less mortar in the interstices, and they are content to place sentences side by side, leaving their relation to one another to be gathered from their position or from the context.

    The Dialogues of Plato

  • I therefore think that Jerome, in rendering the particle #K% (ach,) for, has done better than they who read it as an adversative disjunctive; ` otherwise your blood will I require; 'yet literally it may best be thus translated,

    Commentary on Genesis - Volume 1

  • Certain short words seem to be tabu; for instance, "but" the adversative is always replaced, either by "however" or, more commonly, by beginning the sentence with "although."

    The Death of English

  • In the two passages to which an appeal is made, the adversative force of kai is overlooked, “just, and yet not willing,” “just, and yet the justifier.”

    A Dissertation on Divine Justice

  • The adversative “but” is exclusive of any other faulty cause of sin that should principally fall under our consideration, especially of God, of whom mention was made immediately before.

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • The particle kai in the next words is plainly adversative and exceptive, as it is very many times in the New Testament, and that to the persons of whom he is speaking.

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed


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  • JM is totally against all things adversative.

    June 13, 2010