Although most often used to refer to some sort of psychological corruption or abnormal behavior (usually sexual), the word perversion can actually refer to anything that is used for a distorted or wrong purpose.

The Latin word pervertere, which means "turn around," serves as the basis for the noun perversion, suggesting something that is contrary to something else. The word developed a religious meaning in the 15th century, when it came to be used to refer to any distortion of church doctrine. Around 1700, the word developed a secular meaning, denoting what was considered deviant sexual behavior — often any sexual behavior other than that used to reproduce.

Primary Meanings of perversion

the action of perverting something (turning it to a wrong use)
a curve that reverses the direction of something
Full Definitions of perversion

n the action of perverting something (turning it to a wrong use)

“it was a perversion of justice”
Type of:
actus reus, misconduct, wrongdoing, wrongful conduct
activity that transgresses moral or civil law

n an aberrant sexual practice;

sexual perversion
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
abnormal sexual activity
exhibitionism, immodesty
the perverse act of exposing and attracting attention to your own genitals
fetichism, fetishism
sexual arousal or gratification resulting from handling a fetish (or a specific part of the body other than the sexual organs)
paedophilia, pedophilia
a sexual attraction to children
a perversion in which a person receives sexual gratification from seeing the genitalia of others or witnessing others' sexual behavior
zoophilia, zoophilism
a sexual attraction to animals
paederasty, pederasty
sexual relations between a man and a boy (usually anal intercourse with the boy as a passive partner)
Type of:
sex, sex activity, sexual activity, sexual practice
activities associated with sexual intercourse

n a curve that reverses the direction of something

“the tendrils of the plant exhibited perversion
perversion also shows up in kinky telephone cords”
Type of:
curve, curved shape
the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes

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