Meaning of reversal in English:


Pronunciation /rɪˈvəːs(ə)l/

See synonyms for reversal

Translate reversal into Spanish


  • 1A change to an opposite direction, position, or course of action.

    ‘a dramatic reversal in population decline in the Alps’
    • ‘the reversal of tidal currents’
    • ‘The data therefore chronicle a dramatic reversal in the direction of invasion.’
    • ‘Clearly, such a reversal of the current course would not be achievable overnight.’
    • ‘The mayor's comments marked a reversal of his previous position on the issue.’
    • ‘There has been an extraordinary reversal in the parties' positions on Europe.’
    • ‘For arrogant unilateralists, it is a dramatic reversal.’
    • ‘Stopped just eighty-six meters from a collision, the frigate's commander was no doubt dumbfounded by the sudden reversal of position.’
    • ‘However, after their reversal of political positions, both are still adjusting to their roles cautiously and climbing on their learning curves.’
    • ‘Even in the earliest stages of new growth, complete reversals in budding directions of zooids are evident.’
    • ‘In both years of this study, the highest ice speeds were observed following reversals of direction.’
    • ‘Monsoon is used to describe seasonal reversals of wind direction, caused by temperature differences between the land and sea.’
    • ‘The Kilmovee, Urlaur, Kilkelly, and Glann and surrounding areas have now benefited from the work of past years by devoted people wishing for a reversal of the rural population decline.’
    • ‘The land is zoned ‘green belt’ and ‘sensitive landscape’, making any change a serious reversal of current spatial policy.’
    • ‘They maintained their lead through April, the latest data available, marking a dramatic reversal from 1999.’
    • ‘The dramatic reversal illustrates the extent to which the media's polling results are simply measuring the impact of their own coverage.’
    • ‘One must look back to the early 1930s to find such a dramatic reversal.’
    • ‘Compared to the results of the national elections held last September 22, the reversal is no less dramatic.’
    • ‘I stress this pattern because July has been a wet month, a dramatic reversal from the driest June on record.’
    • ‘There was, nevertheless, one positive effect in this reversal in popularity.’
    • ‘At the same time, the whole gender reversal at play in the film is a bit trite - the woman as breadwinner, juggling a spouse and a lover, etc.’
    • ‘This remarkable reversal of roles is the film's strongest dynamic and occurs between virtually all the characters.’
    turnaround, turnabout, about-face, volte-face, change of heart, U-turn, sea change, swing, shift, swerve, backtracking, rowback
    swap, exchange, change, swapping, trade, trading, interchange, transposition, inversion
    alteration, changing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law An annulment of a judgement, sentence, or decree made by a lower court or authority.
      ‘a reversal by the House of Lords of the Court of Appeal's decision’
      • ‘All they can achieve, they assume, is the preservation of a clean trial record for appeal, and the reversal of the trial court ruling.’
      • ‘After three trials on separate charges arising out of the original events, resulting in three guilty verdicts, three appeals court reversals, and one acquittal, Cortez was finally convicted of murder.’
      • ‘The reversal in the Supreme Court turned on the application of s.2 of the Charter.’
      • ‘On the appeal the appellant is not seeking an offer which can be accepted or refused; the appellant is seeking the reversal of a decision to dismiss.’
      • ‘Most of the mistrials and reversals have been caused by prosecutors' reliance on a confession by Peter Quartararo that appellate courts consistently have ruled inadmissible because they said it was coerced by police.’
    2. 1.2An adverse change of fortune.
      ‘the champions suffered a League reversal at Gloucester last month’
      • ‘Last night O'Sullivan suffered a similar reversal, just as he had done in the 1997 final against Steve Davis.’
      • ‘Tony Blair and Mr Brown had made clear beforehand they would not implement the review but the reversals were the first suffered by the Labour leadership at the conference since a revolt over pensions two years ago.’
      • ‘But the party suffered serious reversals Feb. 25, when it lost all of four state-level elections.’
      • ‘Certainly the Palestinians have suffered reversals and losses.’
      • ‘Townsley's goal and then Ged Brannan's penalty, two minutes into injury time, represented a dramatic reversal for an unfortunate Dunfermline side.’
      setback, reverse, upset, check, non-success, failure, misfortune, mishap, misadventure, accident, disaster, tragedy, catastrophe, blow, disappointment, adversity, hardship, affliction, vicissitude, defeat, rout
      View synonyms
  • 2Photography
    mass noun Direct production of a positive image from an exposed film or plate; direct reproduction of a positive or negative image.

    as modifier ‘a black-and-white reversal kit’
    • ‘Liam states that pinholes do not occur with reversal processing of lith film, but we included a water bath anyway since it doesn't take long.’
    • ‘This was a ‘five lights’ production filmed on 16 mm reversal stock because they couldn't afford better.’
    • ‘Since super-8 film is reversal stock like slide film, I had never thought a super-8 negative could exist.’
    • ‘In the box were six rolls of pristine 16 mm Kodachrome reversal motion-picture film.’
    • ‘When using very high bromide developers, it may be necessary to use a 200 to 250 watt light bulb in order to get good reversal effects.’


Late 15th century (as a legal term): from reverse+ -al.