Definition of perversion in English:


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  • 1The alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended.

    ‘a scandalous perversion of the law’
    • ‘all great evil is the perversion of a good’
    • ‘Pure theory is too vulnerable to corruption and perversion at the hands of opportunists.’
    • ‘Well, your Honours, the allegation was section 319 of the Crimes Act, perversion of the course of justice.’
    • ‘When are the Chairman and governors of the BBC going to wake up their consciences and address this scandalous perversion of public service broadcasting?’
    • ‘Politics is about human beings with their frailties and perversions and distortions or perception, who prioritise things according to their conviction.’
    • ‘In writing about the history of American foreign policy, one must try to avoid perpetuating distortions and perversions of language.’
    • ‘If we cannot establish first that there are distortions and perversions, then this fundamental project is a non-starter.’
    • ‘I have evidence of perjury and the perversion of the course of justice and misfeasance in public office.’
    • ‘This type of political perversion of the law was well known during Hitler's fascist dictatorship.’
    • ‘This is an outrageous perversion of the long-standing law that the creator has the exclusive right to license his work.’
    • ‘Anybody having experienced the effects of war firsthand will understand the deceit and perversion in calling these games a reflection of global events.’
    • ‘The most compelling argument, and the issue at the heart of the liberal perversion of liberalism, is in the area of humanitarianism.’
    • ‘Our democracy is a threat to their perversion of a religion.’
    • ‘There is no mendacity, equivocation or perversion of truth.’
    • ‘Our special report on perversion of the language is coming right up.’
    • ‘And that can develop out of any tradition, can develop out of any religion, or perversion.’
    • ‘But they were then arrested for perversion of justice.’
    • ‘No nation which had surrendered these powers to a foreign entity could, by any perversion of language, be described as sovereign.’
    • ‘The perversion of the movie is ingenious, and yet so simple.’
    • ‘This perversion of democratic competition is reflected in the development of the political parties and their programmes.’
    • ‘The founding fathers would have had to pop a lot of pills to conceive of this perversion of the Bill of Rights.’
    distortion, misrepresentation, falsification, travesty, misinterpretation, misconstruction, twisting, corruption, subversion, misuse, misapplication, debasement
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  • 2Sexual behavior or desire that is considered abnormal or unacceptable.

    ‘his book revolutionized ideas about sexual perversion’
    • ‘he indulged in most perversions you could care to name’
    • ‘They have accused me of supporting the sin of sexual perversion.’
    • ‘In the revised Code, only sexual perversion and venereal disease remained totally forbidden.’
    • ‘It seemed to me royals were always in on some kind of scandal, partner swapping, infidelity, one sexual perversion after another.’
    • ‘Don't write about sexual perversion or a too realistic presentation of sex, as these are subjects from which most readers shrink in disgust.’
    • ‘Western affluence has also become the occasion for moral decline in general and the growth of sexual perversion in particular.’
    • ‘From them we learn how sexual perversion attained stability by being placed in a racial and/or gendered discourse.’
    • ‘In the sessions with his supervising therapist, he links the origins of his perversion to his early sexual exposure to his younger sister.’
    • ‘One might say that celibacy has become the last sexual perversion in America.’
    • ‘This is no longer a tale of tragically misguided love, but of sexual perversion and an unforgiveable abuse of power.’
    • ‘It revealed a disgusting and shocking obsession with sexual perversion involving young female children.’
    • ‘Together they set off on a road trip of mass murder, mental and physical torture and sexual perversion.’
    • ‘To be honest, I'm often left wondering what precisely he thinks is so new about sexual perversion and the attempt to rationalize it.’
    • ‘Over the years psychologists have linked this serious state of the mind to such criminal conduct as rape and other sexual perversions.’
    • ‘In fact, Greg was outraged that Martin supported my efforts in trying to understand his - Martin's - sexual perversions.’
    • ‘Both men also attack the respective defendants by alluding to unproven sexual perversions.’
    • ‘He was a man who lived for his own tastes and comforts, and his sexual perversions.’
    • ‘The explicit references to sexual perversions are not the best thing about the book, although they don't really do it much harm.’
    • ‘I don't know why perversions and sexual violence have gone up so sharply here.’
    • ‘But can those matters be set to one side to take another look at sexuality and perversions?’
    • ‘But I'm also an old newspaper reporter who, in my time, covered some hideous stories of perversion.’
    deviance, deviancy, deviation
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/pərˈvərZHən/ /pərˈvərʒən/


Late Middle English from Latin perversio(n-), from the verb pervertere ‘turn about’ (see pervert).