Steer clear of anything adverse. If it's adverse, it's working against you — like adverse weather conditions or the adverse effects of eating too much sugar.

Coming from the Latin adversus meaning "turned against," adverse is an adjective describing a factor that seems to work against or actively harm something. Think of the related word, adversary, which means "enemy or opponent," so that if something is adverse, it acts as if it were the enemy. If you have an adverse reaction to an antibiotic, your doctor will need to prescribe a new medication.

Definitions of adverse
  1. adjective
    in an opposing direction
    adverse currents”
    synonyms: contrary
    unfavorable, unfavourable
    (of winds or weather) tending to hinder or oppose
  2. adjective
    contrary to your interests or welfare
    adverse circumstances”
    synonyms: inauspicious, untoward
    unfavorable, unfavourable
    not encouraging or approving or pleasing
Commonly confused words

adverse / averse

Adverse and averse are both turn-offs, but adverse is something harmful, and averse is a strong feeling of dislike. Rainstorms can cause adverse conditions, and many people are averse to rain.

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