Definition of averse in English:



  • [predicative], [usually with negative] Having a strong dislike of or opposition to something.

    ‘as a former CIA director, he is not averse to secrecy’
    [in combination] ‘the bank's approach has been risk-averse’
    • ‘But as investors in such firms have learnt this year, the sector is not as risk averse as had been widely perceived.’
    • ‘He was averse to the consumerist craze of the middle class, which has led to the bankruptcy of capitalist mores.’
    • ‘Come winter though, wombats are not averse to a little basking in the sun.’
    • ‘Definitely not a stock for the risk averse, Amvescap is one of the most attractive in the British market.’
    • ‘Strong and aggressive, he is not averse to a bit of shirt pulling and uses his arms effectively to hold off defenders.’
    • ‘Even so, I wouldn't be averse to a little greying at the sides, giving me a certain distinguished appearance.’
    • ‘Some will be risk averse, others close to retirement and unwilling to jeopardise their futures.’
    • ‘As a seriously risk averse individual you should start with mutual funds.’
    • ‘Even now he is flooded with offers, still he has resolved to keep off since he is averse to writing songs for set tunes.’
    • ‘I also stand to see the value of my property increase, which I'm not averse to.’
    • ‘The steam-baked ada can satisfy those who are averse to sugar and oily items.’
    • ‘I've noticed I'm becoming more and more averse to what I call overt luxury.’
    • ‘Now some of you may know that if an opportunity arises of a little fun with a person of the opposite sex I'm not averse, rare as it is.’
    • ‘They are not suitable for risk averse investors on any grounds.’
    • ‘Fortunately for us, our kidnappers are not averse to a bit of bargaining.’
    • ‘He was a man known to be extremely controlling and averse to intrusions.’
    • ‘Gradually, then, no one who is averse to the teacher union message is going to choose to become a teacher.’
    • ‘Besides, this thinking goes, families tend to be overprotective, risk averse and are to be mistrusted.’
    • ‘I am a recent alumna of the University of Waterloo and do not consider myself in any way averse to liberal writing.’
    • ‘She does seem like the type who could think up such a thing and I'm sure a publisher wouldn't be averse to the idea.’
    opposed to, against, antipathetic to, hostile to, antagonistic to, unfavourably disposed to, ill-disposed to
    resistant to
    disinclined, unwilling, reluctant, loath
    anti, agin
    View synonyms


1 On the confusion of averse and adverse, see adverse 2 Traditionally, and according to Dr Johnson, averse from is preferred to averse to. The latter is condemned on etymological grounds (the Latin root translates as ‘turn from’). However, averse to is entirely consistent with ordinary usage in modern English (on the analogy of hostile to, disinclined to, etc.) and is part of normal standard English, while averse from is now very uncommon.


Late 16th century: from Latin aversus turned away from, past participle of avertere (see avert).