Adjective "perverse" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable.
  1. 'I'm one of these perverse people who will deliberately take a spite against something, just because everyone else likes it.'
  2. 'So his decision to show the way last night smacked of a perverse desire to prove something to himself and the world.'
  3. 'But I have this perverse desire to be shaved with a cut-throat razor - by an expert.'
  4. 'I always have this perverse but burning desire to be scared, and it's hard for me to achieve this goal simply because it's hard for me to get scared.'
  5. 'But he admits to sharing one trait with his crumpled creation: he's wilfully perverse.'
  6. 'Instead of being taken aback, he felt a perverse obstinacy rise up inside him.'
Contrary to the accepted or expected standard or practice.
  1. 'This may seem a contradictory, even perverse, claim.'
  2. 'Human nature is far too perverse for anything this simple to be successful!'
  3. 'Making treatments free had created two perverse incentives: patients expected a treatment for every complaint, and doctors felt compelled to provide one.'
  4. 'To argue that we are powerless to change the political environment in the face of irrational fanaticism is a perverse form of defeatism.'
  5. 'It is perverse because everyone accepts that regular exercise helps reduce the risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.'
  6. 'Worse still, in countries where development is the central problem, uniform standards may have perverse effects.'
  7. 'The liar, by contrast, is concerned with the truth, in a perverse sort of fashion: he wants to lead us away from it.'
  8. 'It would be utterly illogical and perverse to deal with this matter on anything other than a UK-wide basis.'
  9. 'The refusal by the government to accept the best science is irrational and perverse.'
  10. 'Is it about the fundamentally deluded nature of human existence, or its perverse, incorrigible optimism?'
  11. 'It could only do so if satisfied that the decision was so perverse that the judge must have fallen into error.'
  12. 'Where, however, a jury reaches a perverse verdict on the evidence, it is open to the Court of Appeal, to reverse that verdict.'
  13. 'It is a perverse verdict and it is a miscarriage of justice in relation to costs.'
Sexually perverted.
  1. 'films depicting behaviour which seemed perverse or deviant were seen as more suitable for private therapy than for public consumption'


1. willfully determined or disposed to go counter to what is expected or desired; contrary.

2. characterized by or proceeding from such a determination or disposition: a perverse mood.

3. wayward or cantankerous.

4. persistent or obstinate in what is wrong.

5. turned away from or rejecting what is right, good, or proper; wicked or corrupt.

More examples(as adjective)

"glastyns can be perverse by turns."

"incentives can be perverse."

"ways can be perverse."

"people can be perverse."

"pleasures can be perverse."

More examples++


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘turned away from what is right or good’): from Old French pervers(e), from Latin perversus ‘turned about’, from the verb pervertere (see pervert).