Definition of inverse in US English:



  • 1attributive Opposite or contrary in position, direction, order, or effect.

    ‘the well-observed inverse relationship between disability and social contact’
    • ‘Our data confirm recent findings indicating that the long-standing inverse relationship between social class and obesity has been lost, at least in the UK.’
    • ‘The positive sign on this effect suggests that the inverse relationship between early support from the mother and adult depressive symptoms is less substantial among male respondents.’
    • ‘The curve descends nonmonotonically, yet as it does not inverse its direction, the convergence is rather fast and even after 10 generations, the calculated line resembles the experimental one.’
    • ‘A study published in the October 2001 Journal of Affective Disorders found an inverse relationship between fish consumption and postpartum depression in 23 countries.’
    • ‘This result is inconsistent with theoretical considerations and experimental results obtained under constant light conditions, suggesting an inverse relationship between e p and.’
    • ‘The research, by the University of Ulster and the department of psychiatry at the Mater Hospital Trust in Belfast, discovered an inverse relationship between suicide and terrorist- related deaths.’
    • ‘This place just proves the theory that there's an inverse relationship between attractiveness and proficiency in math.’
    • ‘Next, Spencer proposes an inverse relationship between the degree of fertility and the development of the nervous system.’
    • ‘Other arrangements of film, crystal, and film can also be used to cause an inverse effect - so that when electricity is not applied, no light can pass through.’
    • ‘A review of 20 international studies looking into the link between the use of the oral contraceptives and rates of bowel cancer found an inverse relationship.’
    • ‘We found that univariate analysis showed no association with birth order, but after adjustment for maternal age, an inverse association with birth order was apparent.’
    • ‘Presidential popularity is positively associated with partisan support but shows an inverse relationship for members of the opposition.’
    • ‘Insofar as Markson poses questions in an inverse order, the critic and the author appear in a perspective which inscribes voice within an economy of representation.’
    • ‘In theory, at least, this creates a direct, inverse relationship between the unemployment rate and the inflation rate.’
    • ‘We now have an overwhelming consensus amongst well-designed, large, epidemiologic studies suggesting this inverse relationship between folate intake and the risk of developing colon-rectal cancer.’
    • ‘For most of the past eight years, since the end of 1992, the historical, inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment rates postulated by the Phillips Curve cannot be discerned in the data.’
    • ‘In Russia, the inverse order has been observed: there the state organized itself before society, and it organized society.’
    • ‘The inverse Doppler effect is not something you can hear, but understanding it could one day lead to important advances in optics and communications equipment.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, rational crime policy analysis and the political pressure on government officials subject to the forces of public opinion may lead to different outcomes, and may even be in inverse relationship.’
    • ‘I haven't charted this yet, but it seems that there is an inverse relationship between focusing on maximizing investor return, and actual investor return.’
    reverse, reversed, inverted, opposite, converse, contrary, counter, antithetical, transposed, retroverted
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    1. 1.1Mathematics Produced from or related to something else by a process of inversion.
      • ‘He made major contributions to the inverse problem of Galois theory as well as to class field theory, thereby solving some long outstanding conjectures.’
      • ‘The inverse Fourier transform information of the acquired first spectral-peaks is computed and a computed first harmonic phase image is determined from each spectral peak.’
      • ‘That is addition, multiplication and the two inverse operations of subtraction and division.’
      • ‘This work also contains a mean value type formula for inverse interpolation of the sine.’
      • ‘The reconstructions of outlines corresponding to extreme individuals using the inverse Fourier transform are plotted on the PC1 - PC2 projection.’


  • 1usually in singular Something that is the opposite or reverse of something else.

    ‘his approach is the inverse of most research’
    • ‘From the start, Boon was convinced that the rapist is a ‘gerontophile’ - the inverse of a paedophile, a person who is powerfully attracted to elderly women.’
    • ‘It is a negentropic force that, while not the inverse of entropy, counteracts entropy by generating new states of order and higher complexity in the universe.’
    • ‘I was drawn partially by the idea of the academic life - the way I looked at it, being a professor was just the inverse of being a student.’
    • ‘Biomechanical models may use either an inverse or forward dynamic approach.’
    • ‘You make others feel good, you, in turn, will be made to feel good (with the inverse also being true).’
    • ‘Video has always articulated itself as the negative inverse of television, the conscience of television, as Avital Ronell once put it.’
    • ‘By showing us the inverse of what we usually see; the shapes that make up the volumes rather than the borders that define them, we gain a new understanding of the original item.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the modern relationship between Canada and Bulgaria continues to be affected by immigration and visa issues but the context is inverse to what it was in the sixties and seventies.’
    • ‘The Red Cross in itself, back in the 1800s was used as the inverse of the Swiss flag, which is the white cross on the red background, to show respect for the founders of the Red Cross.’
    • ‘For her, it's the inverse of all the Inuit words for snow - a single word that encompasses a dizzying multitude of meanings.’
    • ‘But just as true is the inverse of that law - not everyone who appears threatening is your enemy.’
    • ‘Perhaps the inverse of the prevention paradox is a factor - namely an intervention that brings large benefits to each participating individual but affords little to the community.’
    • ‘You take a verb, put un at the beginning, and get as result another verb that expresses the opposite or inverse of the action the original verb expressed.’
    • ‘Not local times of liberation, but the inverse: the becoming-local times of capital found at the leading edge of the global megamachine as it is enacted in everyday life.’
    • ‘Those in the humanities may agree to the applicability of complex dynamics and field theory to the study of culture, but the inverse is not typically true.’
    • ‘This processes the sound in the complete inverse of a compressor - it expands the dynamic range, making loud sounds louder and soft sounds softer.’
    • ‘It seems straight forwardly from that language at least to be the inverse - focused on making the community safer and deporting criminal illegal aliens.’
    • ‘Where many live albums sound more organic than their studio counterparts, the inverse is true here.’
    • ‘In this sense, mercy can be thought of as the opposite of grace, or perhaps more correctly - the inverse.’
    • ‘Certainly the fact that he's a favorite author of these sorts doesn't imply that he endorses their opinions; the inverse, however, is apparently true.’
    opposite, converse, obverse, antithesis, other side
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    1. 1.1Mathematics A reciprocal quantity, mathematical expression, geometric figure, etc., that is the result of inversion.
      • ‘Those two pairs of mathematical inverses yield scores that are reciprocals of each other.’
      • ‘The coefficient on quantity exported represents the inverse of the residual demand elasticity, which is the main point of interest here.’
    2. 1.2Mathematics An element that, when combined with a given element in an operation, produces the identity element for that operation.
      • ‘Existence of inverses there exist elements a and a ^ - 1 for every a such that a + = z and a x = e.’
      • ‘Group theory studies not a single structure, but a type of structure, the pattern common to collections of objects with a binary operation, an identity element thereon, and inverses for each element.’
      • ‘If the cull is sufficiently small, this response is given by an element of the inverse of the Jacobian matrix.’


Late Middle English: from Latin inversus, past participle of invertere (see invert).