aversive




Things that are aversive repel you or make you change your mind. An aversive smell in your friend’s kitchen before her dinner party might cause you to lose your appetite.

The adjective aversive is good for describing unpleasant or repellent things, like an aversive reaction to riding in a small boat on a choppy sea. It’s more commonly used in very formal writing, however, especially on the topics of psychology and sociology. An aversive stimulus in psychological studies tends to change behavior through some kind of punishment or unpleasant sensation. The Latin root of aversive is aversus, “turned away or turned back.”

Definitions of aversive
  1. adjective

    tending to repel or dissuade

    aversive conditioning”

Word Family