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Adverse or Averse

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2:12 min read
  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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More significantly, he has shown that if such ageing cells are selectively destroyed, these adverse effects go away.

Your survey shows that banks are more risk-averse than they used to be.

Adverse and averse have spellings very close to each other which result in a lot of confusion regarding this pair of words. Young and native English language writers both mistake these words for one another and lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretations of the sentences. This article will throw light on the right meanings and usage of both of these words and how to remember them apart from each other.




Adverse originates from late Middle English: from Old French advers, from Latin adversus ‘against, opposite’, past participle of advertere, from ad- ‘to’ + vertere ‘to turn’. Averse originated in late 16th century: from Latin aversus ‘turned away from’, past participle of avertere meaning avert.


Adverse as adjective:


Adverse is used as an adjective in English language where it means preventing success or development; harmful; unfavorable. It has synonyms like unfavorable, disadvantageous, inauspicious, unpropitious, unfortunate and unlucky etc.


Taxes are having an adverse effect on production.


Averse as adjective:


Averse is also used as an adjective in English language where it means having a strong dislike of or opposition to something. It has synonyms like opposed to, against, antipathetic to, hostile to, antagonistic to, unfavorably disposed to or ill-disposed to etc.


As a former CIA director, he is not averse to secrecy.




The yen jumped in Asian trade as investors became more averse to risk. [Reuters]


If you’re averse to spoilers, close your browser window right now. [Latino Review]


The panel concluded that sounds or vibrations emitted from wind turbines have no adverse effect on human health. [Simcoe Reformer]


But a study finds that having some adverse experiences in the past may make you mentally tougher. [Los Angeles Times]


Adverse or averse:

Adverse and averse are both turn-offs, but adverse is something harmful, and averse is a strong feeling of dislike. Rainstorms can cause adverse conditions, and many people are averse to rain. Adverse describes something that works against you, like a tornado or a computer crash, and is usually applied to things. Averse is usually applied to feelings, attitudes, or people. It's a strong feeling of opposition — it's a big "no thanks" and it's often followed by to. If it's a force of nature working against you, use adverse. Kick out the "d" and a person can be averse to or against anything, like rainy days or gambling.


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