Adverse and Averse

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between adverse and averse?

Adverse means hostile. Averse means unwilling.


The adjective adverse means antagonistic, opposing, harmful, hostile, or unfavorable (unfavourable ).

  • Adverse conditions including rain, snow, ice and fog affect your visibility.
  • He is not responsible for the adverse events in your life.


The adjective averse means strongly disinclined, unwilling, or loath. (Most often, it refers to people.)

  • Are you averse to hunting?
  • The company staff are averse to change.

A Video Summary

Here is a 2-minute video summarizing the difference between adverse and adverse.

Interactive Test

See Also

affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? loath or loathe material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are adjectives? List of easily confused words