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unfavorable or antagonistic in purpose or effect:
adverse criticism.
opposing one’s interests or desire:
adverse circumstances.
being or acting in a contrary direction; opposed or opposing:
adverse winds.
opposite; confronting:
the adverse page.
Contemporary Examples

This lack of standards has adverse reproductive, sexual, and mental-health consequences for survivors of sexual violence.
Fixing India’s Rape Problem Aruna Kashyap January 9, 2013

“Any time you put a foreign substance into anybody you have the potential for an adverse event,” Geisbert reminds.
Uh Oh: Ebola Vaccine Trials Stop Leigh Cowart December 18, 2014

An adverse tenure decision often marks the end of an academic career.
Crazy for Tenure Adam Winkler February 17, 2010

And as in the United States, the results of these adverse circumstances and ambitious agenda are … deeply ambiguous.
Britain’s Bittersweet Future David Frum January 29, 2013

He probably scored more points off adverse questions by liberal Justices than he did off the easy stuff.
Justice Roberts Shines David Frum March 27, 2012

Historical Examples

You would have evaded it, and put yourself in the wrong; and the inquiry, well urged, might have been adverse to Sir Charles.
A Terrible Temptation Charles Reade

The experience of civilized nations has hitherto been adverse to Socialism.
The Republic Plato

The adverse weather held us in front and the disease pressed on our rear.
The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad

“Some adverse influence is at work,” said Funkelstein, with some vexation.
David Elginbrod George MacDonald

The very beating of the rain, the adverse wind, seemed to chafe his spirits and excite his courage.
Tom Burke Of “Ours”, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever

antagonistic or inimical; hostile: adverse criticism
unfavourable to one’s interests: adverse circumstances
contrary or opposite in direction or position: adverse winds
(of leaves, flowers, etc) facing the main stem Compare averse (sense 2)

late 14c., “contrary, opposing,” from Old French avers (13c., Modern French adverse) “antagonistic, unfriendly, contrary, foreign” (e.g. gent avers “infidel race”), from Latin adversus “turned against, turned toward, fronting, facing,” figuratively “hostile, adverse, unfavorable,” past participle of advertere, from ad- “to” (see ad-) + vertere “to turn” (see versus). Related: Adversely.


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  • Adverse reaction

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