Misused Words: Adverse vs Averse

These words are very similar but there are some slight differences.

Adverse means something that is dangerous, unfavorable, or contrary. It is used with things not people. It is often used in describing the weather.

For example: There may be adverse weather conditions during our vacation.

For example: Certain pharmaceutical drugs can have adverse effects on the body.

Averse means having a strong repugnance or dislike for something.

For example: Much to my husband’s dismay, I am completely averse to taking a cruise.

For example: She is not averse to completely revamping her story’s plot.

These two words are a little tricky. Just keep in mind that adverse is used in regards to things, not people. Adverse is never used in relations to people. Averse is most often followed by the word “to.” Also, you know averse is used correctly if you can substitute the work with “opposed” or “dislike.”

In both examples above, you can easily change averse to opposed. “Much to my husband’s dismay, I am completely opposed to taking a cruise.” “She is not opposed to completely revamping her story’s plot.”

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