Quick Summary

The Latin root word vers means “turned.” This root gives rise to many English vocabulary words, including reverse, version, and conversation. Perhaps the easiest way to remember this root word is through the English word anniversary, a calendrical marker that yet another year has “turned.”

Reverse Versus Obverse

The Latin root word vers means ‘turned.’

Most people are not averse to, or “turned” away from, driving cars. Conversely, that is, thoroughly “turned” towards the opposite opinion, most people love cars. Always having a car almost seems irreversible these days—one cannot ever be “turned” back from owning one, at least if you need to get to work.

We all know that the reverse side of a coin is the side that’s “turned” back from the viewer. But what’s the front side of the coin called? It’s the obverse, or the side “turned” towards you, that is, the “heads” side.

So what does the Universe have to do with being “turned”? It is simply all of perceptible creation “turned” into one entirety. And a university? It is a place that has been “turned” into one area of learning for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

An adversary is someone who is “turned” against you. So, when we see Manchester United versus Chelsea on Fox, we know that those two teams are “turned” against each other in a soccer match.

A couple’s anniversary marks that yet another year has “turned” since they’ve been married. Hopefully on anniversary days there will be plenty of loving conversation, being “turned” with another person while speaking. Perhaps there will even be some love poetry read, containing emotional verses, a “turning” or moving from one line of poetry to the next. Of course, the couple who has become divorced (vorc is a variant of vers), or “turned” apart from one another, perhaps celebrates that anniversary as well!

I hope that the diverse examples and different versions, or ‘turnings,’ that I’ve given help you remember that vers means “turned,” aiding and abetting your success at a university and beyond!

  1. averse: ‘turned’ away
  2. converse: thoroughly ‘turned’
  3. irreversible: not able to be ‘turned’ back
  4. reverse: ‘turned’ back
  5. obverse: ‘turned’ towards
  6. Universe: everything ‘turned’ into one whole thing
  7. adversary: one ‘turned’ against you
  8. versus: ‘turned’ against
  9. anniversary: another year ‘turned’
  10. conversation: ‘turned’ with another while speaking
  11. verse: ‘turn’ of poetry
  12. divorce: having ‘turned’ apart from a spouse
  13. diverse: ‘turned’ apart
  14. version: a ‘turning’


  • obverse

    Something is obverse when it is facing or turned towards the observer, such as the facing side of a coin.

  • adversary

    An adversary is a person who goes against you in some way, such as an opponent in a contest or a personal enemy in a conflict.

  • adversity

    If you undergo adversity in life, you suffer from trouble, misfortune, and hardship.

  • aversion

    An aversion to something is a strong dislike for or forceful opposition to it.

  • diversion

    When you create a diversion, you cause someone to turn aside momentarily from what they are doing by distracting them.

  • reversion

    A reversion is turning back again to a previous state or condition.

  • subversive

    A subversive act is undertaken usually to overthrow or do significant harm to a government or other institution.

  • traverse

    When you traverse an area or land, you go across or travel through it.

  • versatile

    Someone who is versatile is skillful at many different things; therefore, they are highly adaptable or flexible at what they can do.

  • diverse

    A diverse group is made up of various and different things.

  • conversion

    When something undergoes a conversion, it is changed or transformed in some way.

  • irreversible

    When an irreversible act is done, it cannot be undone or fixed in any way.

  • animadversion

    Animadversion is the act of strongly criticizing another person for something they have done.

  • reverse

    When someone reverses something, they change it so that it is the opposite of what it was before, such as changing their mind to something completely different.

  • conversation

    A conversation is a talking or chatting between two or more people in order to share ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

  • anniversary

    An anniversary is a yearly remembrance of something important that happened in a previous year, such as a wedding or birth.

  • version

    A version of something, such as something that happened, is how one person tells it, which may be different than what others have to say about it.

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