Language is undoubtedly a hard nut to crack if a person does not understand the meanings and the usage of words. With “adverse” and “averse,” the case is no different.

The words fall under homophones, which are pairs of words or a group of words which may be constructed with the same or similar set of words. However, homophones without a doubt, are similar sounding words. Hence the confusion!

Differentiating between Adverse and Averse

Another reason for the confusion for the usage of the words is due to the fact that both words seem to mean “something harmful.” Their meanings, however, are a bit different. Read on to understand the differences.


Adverse is an adjective but is hardly used to describe humans. The word is usually used to imply unfavorable conditions. This word is also used for things, conditions or as in most cases, for the effect of an action. Remember that the word is always used to describe a negative impact of something.


  • Rain and thunderstorms? Talk about adverse conditions!” Marco yelled, clearly displeased.
  • “We went to watch the movie. Despite the adverse reviews, it was quite a pleasant watch.”
  • Adverse climatic conditions hamper the growth of some vegetation.


The word “averse”, is usually used with “to”, which is to say it is almost always followed by the word. The meaning of “averse” could be explained as a strong disliking. This word is used with feelings, people or attitude. The word can also be used to describe the meaning of “in strong opposition to”.

Bonus: In older forms of usage, the word “averse” was followed by “from”.


  • The president of the council expressed his desire to hold another meeting, but many members are averse to holding another meeting.
  • Averse to going for a vacation? Me?” the wife shouted.
  • The children are averse to joining a hobby class for their holidays.