Definitions

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

  • adj. Turned backward in position, direction, or order.
  • adj. Having the back showing or in view of the observer.
  • adj. Moving, acting, or organized in a manner contrary to the usual.
  • adj. Causing backward movement: a reverse gear.
  • adj. Printing Printed in such a way that the normally colored part appears white against a colored or black background.
  • n. The opposite or contrary: All along we thought Sue was older than Bill, but just the reverse was true.
  • n. The back or rear part.
  • n. The side of a coin or medal that does not carry the principal design; the verso.
  • n. A change to an opposite position, condition, or direction.
  • n. A change in fortune from better to worse; a setback: suffered financial reverses.
  • n. A mechanism, such as a gear in a motor vehicle, that is used to reverse movement.
  • n. The position or operating condition of such a mechanism.
  • n. Movement in an opposite direction.
  • n. Football An offensive play in which a back running in one direction executes a handoff to a back running in the opposite direction.
  • transitive v. To turn around to the opposite direction.
  • transitive v. To turn inside out or upside down.
  • transitive v. To exchange the positions of; transpose.
  • transitive v. Law To revoke or annul (a decision or decree, for example).
  • transitive v. To cause to adopt a contrary viewpoint.
  • transitive v. To change to the opposite: reversed their planned course of action.
  • transitive v. To cause (an engine or a mechanism) to function in reverse.
  • intransitive v. To turn or move in the opposite direction.
  • intransitive v. To reverse the action of an engine.
  • idiom reverse (one's) field To turn and proceed in the opposite direction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. to be in the non-default position; to be set for the lesser-used route.
  • v. To turn something around such that it faces in the opposite direction.
  • v. To turn something inside out or upside down.
  • v. To transpose the positions of two things.
  • v. To return, come back.
  • v. To revoke a law, or to change a decision into its opposite.
  • v. To cause a mechanism or a vehicle to operate or move in the opposite direction.
  • v. To change the direction of a reaction such that the products become the reactants and vice-versa.
  • v. To place a set of points in the reverse position
  • v. to move from the normal position to the reverse position

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Turned backward; having a contrary or opposite direction; hence; opposite or contrary in kind.
  • adj. Turned upside down; greatly disturbed.
  • adj. Reversed.
  • n. That which appears or is presented when anything, as a lance, a line, a course of conduct, etc., is reverted or turned contrary to its natural direction.
  • n. That which is directly opposite or contrary to something else; a contrary; an opposite.
  • n. The act of reversing; complete change; reversal; hence, total change in circumstances or character; especially, a change from better to worse; misfortune; a check or defeat.
  • n. The back side. See Obverse.
  • n. A thrust in fencing made with a backward turn of the hand; a backhanded stroke.
  • n. A turn or fold made in bandaging, by which the direction of the bandage is changed.
  • transitive v. To turn back; to cause to face in a contrary direction; to cause to depart.
  • transitive v. To cause to return; to recall.
  • transitive v. To change totally; to alter to the opposite.
  • transitive v. To turn upside down; to invert.
  • transitive v. Hence, to overthrow; to subvert.
  • transitive v. To overthrow by a contrary decision; to make void; to under or annual for error.
  • intransitive v. To return; to revert.
  • intransitive v. To become or be reversed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To turn about, around, or upside down; put in an opposite or contrary position; turn in an opposite direction, or through 180°; invert.
  • In machinery, to cause to revolve or act in a contrary direction; give an exactly opposite motion or action to, as the crank of an engine, or that part to which the piston-rod is attached.—
  • In general, to alter to the opposite; change diametrically the state, relations, or bearings of.
  • To overturn; upset; throw into confusion.
  • To overthrow; set aside; make void; annul; repeal; revoke: as, to reverse a judgment, sentence, or decree.
  • To turn back; drive away; banish.
  • To cause to return; bring back; recall.
  • Synonyms To invert.
  • To rescind, countermand.
  • To change position, direction, motion, or action to the opposite; specifically, in round dances, to turn or revolve in a direction contrary to that previously taken: as, to reverse in waltzing.
  • To be overturned; fall over.
  • To turn back; return; come back.
  • Turned backward; opposite or contrary in position or direction; reversed: as, the reverse end of a lance; reverse curves; reverse motion.
  • Two points are said to be reverse of each other, with reference to two fixed origins and two fixed axes, when the line through the first origin and the first point meets the first axis at the point where the line through the second origin and the second point meets the same axis, while the line through the first origin and the second point meets the second axis at the same point where the line through the second origin and the first point meets the same axis.
  • Contrary or opposite in nature, effects, or relations: as, a reverse order or method.
  • Overturned; overthrown.
  • Upset; tossed about; thrown into confusion.
  • In conchology, same as reversed, 5.
  • n. Reversal; a change to an opposite form, state, or condition; a complete alteration.
  • n. A complete change or turn of affairs; a vicissitude; a change of fortune, particularly for the worse; hence, adverse fortune; a misfortune; a calamity or blow; a defeat.
  • n. In fencing, a back-handed stroke; a blow from a direction contrary to that usually taken; a thrust from left to right.
  • n. That which is presented when anything, as a lance, gun, etc., is reversed, or turned in the direction opposite to what is considered its natural position.
  • n. That which is directly opposite or contrary; the contrary; the opposite: generally with the.
  • n. In numismatics, the back or inferior side of a coin or medal, as opposed to the obverse, the face or principal side.
  • n. In heraldry, the exact contrary of what has been described just before as an escutcheon or a quartering.
  • n. Same as reversetwist.

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

  • adj. reversed (turned backward) in order or nature or effect
  • n. turning in the opposite direction
  • v. cancel officially
  • v. change to the contrary
  • n. (American football) a running play in which a back running in one direction hands the ball to a back running in the opposite direction
  • v. turn inside out or upside down
  • v. reverse the position, order, relation, or condition of
  • n. an unfortunate happening that hinders or impedes; something that is thwarting or frustrating
  • n. the gears by which the motion of a machine can be reversed
  • adj. of the transmission gear causing backward movement in a motor vehicle
  • n. the side of a coin or medal that does not bear the principal design
  • v. rule against
  • n. a relation of direct opposition
  • adj. directed or moving toward the rear

Etymologies

Middle English revers, from Old French, from Latin reversus, past participle of revertere, to turn back; see revert.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman revers (noun, adjective), reversser (verb), Middle French revers (noun, adjectve), reverser (verb), and their source, Latin reversus (past participle), reversare (verb), from re- + versāre. (Wiktionary)

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