Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.

But Republican and Democratic parties have made efforts to reverse that trend.

So now the company is asking the FCC to, in effect, reverse itself.

My trip takes the reverse path, and I begin by assessing the depth of my Shakespeare knowledge in his birthplace.

Ditto Virginia, but in reverse; culturally, northern Virginia is Yankee land (but with gun shops).

Europeans seem to find them exotic, an odd case of culture-envy in reverse.

To make it such is in every respect the reverse of scientific.

The Hampshire knight was not a man to be disheartened by a reverse.

The action of the 16th September is considered by some to have been a reverse.

Then, without comment, he glided out to reverse all his arrangements.

Will you take my word for it, when I tell you she has not your right interests at heart, but the reverse?


  1. the mechanism or gears by which machinery, a vehicle, etc, can be made to reverse its direction
  2. ( as modifier ): reverse gear
  1. printed matter in which normally black or coloured areas, esp lettering, appear white, and vice versa
  2. ( as modifier ): reverse plates

© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins

Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

c.1300, from Old French revers “reverse, cross, opposite” (13c.), from Latin reversus , past participle of revertere “turn back, turn about, come back, return” (see revert). Reverse angle in film-making is from 1934. Reverse discrimination is attested from 1962, American English.

mid-14c., “opposite or contrary” (of something), from reverse (adj.) or from Old French Related: revers “the opposite, reverse.” Meaning “a defeat, a change of fortune” is from 1520s; meaning “back side of a coin” is from 1620s. Of gear-shifts in motor cars, from 1875. As a type of sports play (originally rugby) it is recorded from 1921.

early 14c. (transitive), “change, alter;” early 15c. (intransitive), “go backward,” from Old French reverser “reverse, turn around; roll, turn up” (12c.), from Late Latin reversare “turn about, turn back,” frequentative of Latin revertere (see revert). Related: Reversed ; reversing .

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