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adversity definition


This page has two definitions of adversity in English. Adversity is a noun. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From Old French adversité, from Latin adversitātem, the accusative singular of adversitās, from adversus, the perfect passive participle of advertō (I turn toward).



adversity (usually uncountable, plural adversities)

  1. (uncountable) The state of adverse conditions; state of misfortune or calamity.
    • 1858, Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne[1], Read Books, published 2008, →ISBN, Chapter III, page 55:
      The doctor loved the squire, loved him as his oldest friend; but he loved him ten times better as being in adversity than he could ever have done had things gone well at Greshansbury in his time.
    • 2007, Earl Crouch, “When Adversity Strikes”, in Do You Know?[2], PublishAmerica, →ISBN, page 60:
      God approves all adversity. Not all adversity that the Christian encounters is due to sins in the Christian's life. Not all adversity is the fault of the Christian.
    • 1998, Karel Montor, et al, “Directing and Coordinating Operations”, in Karel Montor, editor, Naval Leadership: Voices of Experience[3], 2nd edition edition, Naval Institute Press, →ISBN, Efficient and Professional Conduct, page 278:
      These are the people who will overcome the adversity, chaos, and destruction of combat and defeat the enemy in war.
  2. (countable) An event that is adverse; calamity.
    • 1859 September, “The Great Earl of Cork”, in The Dublin University Magazine: A Literary and Political Journal[4], volume LIV, Alex Thom & Sons, page 326:
      Having “secret notice,” the writer of “True Remembrances” declares of the above complains, he retired into Munster, intending to proceed to England, to justify himself; but was detained there for want of money by the breaking out of rebellion. This adversity befell him in the autumn of 1598.
    • 1977, Genevieve Burton, “Family Adversity and the Nurse”, in Interpersonal Relations: A Guide for Nurses[5], Fourth edition edition, Routledge, published 1979, →ISBN, page 101:
      Every family is struck by adversity at one time or another. No matter how mature the patients are, regardless of the care an advantages they give their children, despite a desirable interactive love between family members, adversity will attack any family
    • 2006, Elizabeth Wissner-Gross, “Getting Your Kid off the Waiting List and into the School of His or Her Dreams”, in What Colleges Don't Tell You (and Other Parents Don't Want You to Know: 272 Secrets for Getting Your Kid Into the Top Schools[6], Plume, published 2007, →ISBN, page 272:
      Make sure that your child’s adversity is really an adversity. Not having parents who can buy a new car upon your son’s sixteenth birthday is not an adversity. Being the only girl on the block who doesn’t own a designed handbag is not an adversity



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