Meaning of adversary in English:


See synonyms for adversary

Translate adversary into Spanish

nounplural noun adversaries

  • One's opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute.

    ‘Davis beat his old adversary in the quarter-finals’
    • ‘He was a vigorous adversary to opponents, but he was also a very fair and honest man.’
    • ‘I believe he would prove to be a formidable adversary.’
    • ‘Once there, he expects to be coming up against an old adversary.’
    • ‘Fans were delighted to hear their old adversary, Argentina, had crashed out of the tournament by failing to beat Sweden.’
    • ‘Ross is a friend as well as an old adversary, and I feel for him.’
    • ‘Liam bumped into his old adversary in London's Camden Town recently and berated him for old time's sake.’
    • ‘I'm playing an old adversary on Monday, and we're both making excuses already.’
    • ‘Nat, I know, was humbled when he was told the lengths to which his old adversary had gone to honour his name.’
    • ‘Now, once more, we faced off like the old adversaries that we were.’
    • ‘The trade unions in particular looked with deep suspicion at an administration still headed by their old adversary.’
    • ‘Located behind the knee, these tendons are not well exposed to an adversary facing his opponent from the front.’
    • ‘Its results depend on the opinion the opponent has of his adversary's capability to win.’
    • ‘Military operations almost always involve an intense contest for time between adversaries.’
    • ‘That made her much more formidable an adversary because she didn't have the usual narcissistic vanity.’
    • ‘You must have thought you had seen the last of your old adversary!’
    • ‘The two old adversaries stared at each other across the room.’
    • ‘For some, these may prove to be altogether more formidable adversaries.’
    • ‘The game with their old adversaries from Germany could prove decisive.’
    • ‘They want nothing to do with their old adversaries, or be associated with them in anyway.’
    • ‘I will face them and show them I am a formidable adversary.’
    opponent, rival, enemy, foe, nemesis, antagonist, combatant, challenger, contender, competitor, opposer, fellow contestant
    View synonyms





another term for adversarial
‘the confrontations of adversary politics’
  • ‘Winner-take-all electoral systems and adversary politics result in truth being irrelevant.’
  • ‘Amendments to the Criminal Procedure law in 1996 introduced adversary elements to the fact-finding process in criminal trials.’
  • ‘You are not judges now, but advocates under this adversary system we have been discussing.’
  • ‘In the adversary system, we depend on lawyers to bring cases.’
  • ‘It's got an adversary system that obscures the truth; trials are run by lawyers and they don't have much interest in truth and justice.’
  • ‘Cynical adversary stances are not helpful - belief is necessary.’
  • ‘For generations, Scotland has maintained an adversary culture, defining itself by its differences from England.’
  • ‘The original inspection process, which lasted several years, developed into an adversary process.’
  • ‘This right is fundamental to the adversary system of justice in the Untied States.’
  • ‘There is too much at stake in this relationship for either side to really push an adversary agenda with the other.’
  • ‘It is a necessary concomitant or consequence of this particular system which is an inquisitorial system, rather than a strict adversary system.’
  • ‘It is the classic adversary system which overlaps with a two-party system, and the arguments and votes are often predictable.’
  • ‘You see under the adversary system, as I've said, the parties produce the evidence.’
  • ‘Mr Chairman, in our country and the House in particular, we have an adversary system.’
  • ‘The adversary procedure followed in a court of law is not appropriate in its investigations.’
  • ‘If the chief virtue of the adversary system lies in giving opposing parties a hearing, its greatest vice lies in giving those parties an incentive to silence each other.’
  • ‘The very adversary structure that put me off from litigation is now the norm in political life in general and political life is not a place for honest exchange.’
  • ‘If it ever rises to the 80% range, the current adversary relationship would have to change.’
  • ‘She also focuses on the ways in which the use of the adversary method as a paradigm of philosophy limits and distorts the work of philosophers.’
  • ‘Our legal system is fundamentally an adversary system - and this solution would betray its very nature.’



/ˈadvəs(ə)ri/ /adˈvəːsəri/


Middle English from Old French adversarie, from Latin adversarius ‘opposed, opponent’, from adversus (see adverse).