Definition of obverse in English:


Translate obverse into Spanish


usually in singular
  • 1The side of a coin or medal bearing the head or principal design.

    ‘It was no wonder that this minting machine was chosen as part of the design for the obverse of the medal.’
    • ‘The obverse of the medal shows the portrait of King Louis XIV and the reverse shows the Thai ambassadors.’
    • ‘The obverse of the medal bears the text, AWARDED BY THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA and a graphic device assumed to be the logo of the Franklin Institute.’
    • ‘Why would collectors of Thai medals be interested in a French medal with King Louis XIV on the obverse?’
    • ‘Similarly, on the obverse of each coin is its value and a mark to indicate directionality, and on the reverse is its suit and another directional marker.’
    • ‘The obverse of both coins shows the portrait of King Rama V and the present King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX.’
    • ‘The obverse of the coin shows His Majesty King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej.’
    • ‘On the obverse of the coin, which is shown on the stamp, there is the ‘Phra Athit’ or rising sun.’
    • ‘It is a medal with Napoleon III on the obverse, and the reverse shows Napoleon III receiving the Thai Ambassadors on 27th June 1861.’
    • ‘It was a 1,000 yen coin with Fuji Mountain on the obverse.’
    • ‘I explained that all Euro coins have the same face but that the obverse depicts a scene of the country where the Euro coin was first issued.’
    • ‘The notch is formed on each of the obverse and reverse sides of the base plate.’
    • ‘On the obverse, it is a picture of a quadriga (four hours and a vessel) and the reverse is a picture of the goddess Artemis-Arethusa with four dolphins around.’
    • ‘The obverse - shown - bears a configuration of nineteen cogged wheels around the center, each wheel engaging those on either side of it.’
    • ‘On the obverse was the coat of arms with Norwegian wood, and the reverse shows ‘Mother Norway’ looking out on the sea.’
    • ‘The coin shows on the obverse the elephant with the date CS 1197, and on the reverse is the inscription Muang Thai (Thailand).’
    • ‘The obverse shows King Chulalongkorn facing left with the inscription ‘King of Siam’ and A. Patey on the King's shoulder.’
    • ‘Six different coins were produced; all with His Majesty's portrait on the obverse, and the reverse shows dragons in different special features.’
    1. 1.1The design or inscription on the obverse side of a coin or medal.
      ‘It would help to ascertain the temporal relationship between the inscriptions on the reverse and the quota list on the obverse.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, it is not impossible that the reverse inscription is separated temporally from the obverse.’
      • ‘It is large, 245 mm, and it is the same as the obverse of the medals struck for the same occasion.’
      • ‘Like the obverse it was chosen by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee following a design competition.’
  • 2The opposite or counterpart of a fact or truth.

    ‘true solitude is the obverse of true society’
    • ‘The obverse of blocking maritime communications - in fact, the object of naval warfare, in Corbett's view - is protecting them.’
    • ‘But consider the obverse of Acton's terse observation: powerlessness corrupts and absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely.’
    • ‘Equally questionable is the obverse of the Harmon doctrine, the principle of absolute territorial integrity or riparian rights.’
    • ‘I regard the next sentence as the obverse of the first instruction.’
    • ‘It is also, in a manner of speaking, the obverse of the spirit of adventure that drove the Conquistadors to conquer ‘the unknown’ many centuries ago.’
    • ‘They need to embrace their multiple selves and the self as multiple, to celebrate the obverse of the ‘history’ that is progress.’
    • ‘A ‘traditionalist’ is defined by the obverse on each of those scores.’
    • ‘The obverse, of course, was that such positive inducements would be withheld if the Soviet Union continued to pursue Cold War policies.’
    • ‘‘Rock’ has been seen as the obverse of ‘pop’, though there was never a clear stylistic distinction.’
    • ‘Think of this as the obverse of 1970s-style stagflation, which brought us little or no growth, high inflation and high interest rates at the same time.’
    • ‘Snooping women got caught up, she writes, in ‘the seamy obverse of elite inquiry.’’
    • ‘Such a narrative is the direct obverse of Schwartz and Ehrenberg's celebratory national/cartographic dawn-chasing.’
    • ‘His approach is the obverse of what Justice O'Connor did in Grutter.’
    • ‘From the beginning, Neil is plagued by his fears of losing Brenda, which are the obverse of his extreme dependence on her.’
    • ‘The question is not merely the obverse of the issues which arise in relation to MERCEDES or MERCEDES-BENZ registered in respect of clothing.’
    • ‘That is, indeed, the essential question, and it carries with it the obverse: what is it that must not be done?’
    • ‘Packer is the obverse to Wallace and it is exciting that they are producing powerful contemporary collections.’
    • ‘Balthus gave us the male view of pubescent girls trapped in closed rooms; Rego seems to be offering their obverse.’
    reverse, converse, antithesis, contrary, inverse, obverse, contradiction



/ˈäbˌvərs/ /ˈɑbˌvərs/


  • 1Of or denoting the obverse of a coin or medal.

    ‘The designs of the medals are based on a traditional style that includes a generic obverse side, based on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.’
    • ‘One of them depicts a winged victory and on the obverse side are engraved the words: ‘The Great War for Civilisation’.’
    • ‘On its obverse side is the image of two worlds between two columns, representing the Pillars of Hercules.’
  • 2Corresponding to something else as its opposite or counterpart.

    ‘the obverse fates of the principals’
    • ‘But regrettably there was an obverse side to all this.’
    • ‘But isn't occupational mobility of this kind a great strength, the obverse side of robust job creation?’
    • ‘Of course there's an obverse side to this move, it would also give the government the power to take away licences.’
    • ‘On the obverse side, the authors examine the motives and reactions of owners who, ostensibly, did not understand why their slaves absconded.’
    • ‘The main reason for this is that the obverse side of the U.S. manufacturing revival was a manufacturing crisis in Japan and western Europe.’
    • ‘The obverse web is also woven plain, but is much more sheer and the thread is coarser.’
    • ‘We are dealing with the obverse situation here.’
    • ‘In the Christian story, the obverse proposition is also rejected.’
    • ‘These two pictures turn out to make fascinating, obverse pendants.’
    • ‘The conquests were for the motive of sway, involving massive slaughter as the obverse politics of claim.’
    • ‘But this was not to the exclusion of the obverse relationship.’
    • ‘This obverse voyeurism involves a gaze that is marked by a global optics filtered through nostalgia.’
    • ‘So, if the risk of contemporary philosophy is scientism, then its obverse reflection is obscurantism.’
    • ‘The obverse, but equally necessary, type of data flow is when people know reality and influence it.’
    • ‘The parts of Formes which seek to substantiate this thesis do so chiefly by developing the obverse one: ‘Society is God’.’
    opposite, opposing, contrary, counter, antithetical
  • 3Biology
    Narrower at the base or point of attachment than at the apex or top.

    • ‘an obverse leaf’



/əbˈvərs/ /äbˈvərs/ /ɑbˈvərs/


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘turned towards the observer’): from Latin obversus, past participle of obvertere ‘turn towards’ (see obvert).