Definition of perversely in English:



  • 1In a way that shows a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in an unreasonable or unacceptable manner.

    ‘the group perversely refused to tour until well past their peak’
    ‘the minister had acted perversely in failing to publish the report’
    • ‘He marries the poor Lucy instead of the wealthy woman whom his father picked out for him—and whom the father himself perversely proceeds to marry.’
    • ‘Why not just get rid of these misleading pro forma statements (which he perversely extols in his speech)?’
    • ‘This perversely sets a misleading path for tonight's proceedings.’
    • ‘He perversely emphasized the differences rather than the similarities of timbre between instruments and even wrote an elaborate justification of this wrong-headedness.’
    • ‘For critics for whom 'reason' is always partisan and coercive, such an aspiration must seem perversely self-destructive.’
    • ‘They aren't immigrants who chose to come to the United States but perversely refuse to learn English.’
    • ‘She had wanted them to choose a Shakespeare play or the Bible, but Sam had perversely chosen the dictionary.’
    • ‘Maybe they defined themselves in opposition to pathology—or maybe they perversely embraced it.’
    • ‘The third novel is hardly a novel at all, though the author perversely insisted on saying it was.’
    • ‘The rich subsidizers then perversely declare they cannot possibly expand trade with the poor world because of its shameful disrespect for the environment.’
  • 2In a manner contrary to what is expected or accepted.

    as submodifier ‘he was perversely proud of his parochial background’
    sentence adverb ‘perhaps perversely, it was his niceness that turned some people against him’
    • ‘She is wearing a plain black, ankle-length dress decorated with flowers, perversely projecting a rather saintly look.’
    • ‘Much of his writing is devoted to exposing how such oppositions were also perversely connected.’
    • ‘The repeated cycle of promised change, frenetic activity, and disappointment may perversely satisfy some in power.’
    • ‘Spectacles of suffering are perversely part of our entertainment culture.’
    • ‘Perversely, many chapters deal in detail with individual people who can only be described as extraordinary.’
    • ‘Increasing the supply of new nurses may turn out to be perversely ineffective if overall numbers grow and nurses perform even more non-nursing tasks.’
    • ‘In some instances, this was deeply entrenched and perversely affected newer influences.’
    • ‘Even useless hacks may come, perversely enough, to be valued for the purity of their uselessness.’
    • ‘The study suggests that, perversely, implementing guidelines may lead to higher overall direct costs per patient.’
    • ‘Today, perversely, government is retreating from the limited areas where it has a natural responsibility.’