One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Alter (a proposition) so as to infer another proposition with a contradictory predicate, e.g. ‘no men are immortal’ to ‘all men are mortal’.
- ‘An original statement is obverted, the result is converted and that result is obverted again.’
- ‘In response to growing concern and upon the advice of a specially appointed committee, the rule was obverted.’
Early 17th century (in the sense ‘turn something until it is facing’): from Latin obvertere, from ob- ‘towards’ + vertere ‘to turn’.
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