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

  • adj. Causing avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus, as in techniques of behavior modification.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Tending to repel, causing avoidance (of a situation, a behaviour, an item, etc),
  • adj. Avoidance that can be taught through the use of stimulus that either punish or reinforces.
  • n. A grammatical case indicating that something is avoided or feared; the evitative case.
  • n. An unpleasant stimulus intended to induce a change in behaviour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. of or pertaining to aversion.
  • adj. exhibiting avoidance or causing avoidance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Averse; turning away.

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

  • adj. tending to repel or dissuade


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The researchers bred mice without the gene and put them in aversive situations, such as giving them a mild shock at a certain point in their cage.

    Boing Boing: November 26, 2006 - December 2, 2006 Archives

  • - The U.S. Justice Department has begun a review of whether the use of electric shock therapy by a Massachusetts special needs school violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Canton-based Judge Rotenberg Educational Center uses the treatment, known as aversive therapy, as a way to control aggressive behavior and prevent severely autistic students from injuring themselves or others. - Highschool

  • But unconscious discrimination - what psychologists call aversive racism - has stayed fairly constant.


  • But it was more than that, some kind of aversive, body-unfriendly habit, but also a desire for comfort that I thought was most achievable in looseness.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • They teach "aversive" training methods, such as pinning the dog to the ground, jerking the dog on the leash, using shock collars, and physically forcing frightened dogs into situations they are afraid of until they shut down.

    The Full Feed from

  • Create aversive sensations when certain thoughts come up, such as a desire to vote for an opposing candidate.

    World Wide Mind

  • In a very real sense, all human emotions can be thought of as forms of pleasure and pain: They are all either appealing or aversive.

    Valerie Tarico: God's Emotions: What Are Emotions Anyway? (Part 4)

  • I had a particularly visceral aversive reaction when I heard of Ubisoft's strategy for cross-convergence.

    Ubisoft Has A Crystal Ball!

  • The idea of trying to entice Boulder dog owners into shifting away from aversive collars emerged during last summer's strategic planning process.

    Pet Talk: Rein in the use of choke/shock collars

  • So devoted is the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) in Colorado to the idea of eliminating choke, prong and shock collars from its community that it's offering a free no-pull harness (a SENSE-ation, which retails from $23.50 to $28.50) to folks who exchange aversive collars for the harness.

    Pet Talk: Rein in the use of choke/shock collars


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