Perverse refers to behavior or actions that go against what is considered normal, moral, or reasonable, often in a stubborn or deliberate manner.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Contrary, stubborn, obstinate, wayward, willful


Obedient, compliant, cooperative, reasonable, sensible

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun perversities, perverseness, perversenesses, perversity
Verb None
Adjective perverse
Adverb perversely

Example Sentences

  • Despite knowing the risks, he took perverse pleasure in breaking the rules.

  • His perverse delight in causing others pain and suffering manifested in cruel pranks and manipulative behavior, leaving a trail of broken relationships and shattered trust in his wake, as his twisted sense of amusement thrived on the misfortune of others.

  • The company’s decision to cut employee benefits was seen as perverse by many.

  • He had a perverse sense of humor that often left people feeling uncomfortable.


The word perverse is often used to describe behavior or actions that are contrary to what is considered normal, moral, or reasonable. It can refer to a deliberate and stubborn refusal to conform to accepted norms or expectations.

The root of the word perverse comes from the Latin word “pervertere,” which means “to turn upside down.” The word was originally used in the context of moral corruption or the distortion of truth. Over time, the word evolved to refer to behavior or actions that are contrary to what is considered reasonable or normal.

The word perverse can be used in a range of contexts, from describing individual behavior to systemic issues within society. It can refer to someone who goes against the norm for personal or ideological reasons, or it can describe a situation in which the outcomes are contrary to what was intended or expected.

The word perverse can have both negative and positive connotations. On one hand, it can be used to describe behavior that is harmful or disruptive, such as a child who acts out in a perverse manner. On the other hand, it can be used to describe behavior that is creative or innovative, such as an artist who takes a perverse approach to their work.

There are various prefixes and suffixes that can be added to the word perverse to modify its meaning. For example, the prefix “un-” can be added to create the word “unperverse,” which means that something is not perverse or contrary. The suffix “-ity” can be added to create the word “perversity,” which refers to the quality of being perverse or contrary.

It is important to use the word perverse with care and sensitivity, as it can carry negative connotations and may be perceived as judgmental or insulting. When using the word, it is important to consider the context in which it is being used and to be mindful of the impact it may have on others.