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’
    • ‘Fortunately for us, our kidnappers are not averse to a bit of bargaining.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've noticed I'm becoming more and more averse to what I call overt luxury.’
    • ‘Besides, this thinking goes, families tend to be overprotective, risk averse and are to be mistrusted.’
    • ‘He was a man known to be extremely controlling and averse to intrusions.’
    • ‘But as investors in such firms have learnt this year, the sector is not as risk averse as had been widely perceived.’
    • ‘I also stand to see the value of my property increase, which I'm not averse to.’
    • ‘Even now he is flooded with offers, still he has resolved to keep off since he is averse to writing songs for set tunes.’
    • ‘Gradually, then, no one who is averse to the teacher union message is going to choose to become a teacher.’
    • ‘I am a recent alumna of the University of Waterloo and do not consider myself in any way averse to liberal writing.’
    • ‘Come winter though, wombats are not averse to a little basking in the sun.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Strong and aggressive, he is not averse to a bit of shirt pulling and uses his arms effectively to hold off defenders.’
    • ‘Definitely not a stock for the risk averse, Amvescap is one of the most attractive in the British market.’
    • ‘The steam-baked ada can satisfy those who are averse to sugar and oily items.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was averse to the consumerist craze of the middle class, which has led to the bankruptcy of capitalist mores.’
    • ‘They are not suitable for risk averse investors on any grounds.’
    • ‘As a seriously risk averse individual you should start with mutual funds.’
    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


The widespread phrase for expressing dislike, opposition, or hostility (to things, usually not people) is averse to. Similarly, one may be said to have an aversion to (usually not aversion from) certain things or activities (but usually not people): Katherine was known for her aversion to flying, but she was brave and boarded the plane anyway. Averse from was prescribed by Samuel Johnson and is preferred by traditionalists, who condemn averse to as nonsensical (the Latin origin of averse has the meaning ‘turn from’). In both US and British English, however, averse to is now by far the more common occurrence. See also adverse


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