Quick Summary

The Latin root word vert means ‘turn.’ This root gives rise to many English vocabulary words, including vertical, revert, and convert. This root word can keep your word sense right-side up instead of inverting it by ‘turning’ you upside-down.

'Vert' Convert

The Latin root word vert means ‘turn.’

For instance, when you invert something, you ‘turn’ it on its head, or upside-down. When you revert to the beginning, you ‘turn’ back to it. When a robber diverts the police, he ‘turns’ them away from what he is in the process of doing.

Imagine that you are standing on top of a very tall cliff. If you are afraid of heights, you might avert your eyes, ‘turning’ them away in fear. You might also be afraid of the completely vertical drop, ‘turned’ perpendicular to the earth. You also might experience vertigo, or a wild ‘turning’ in your head which makes you dizzy. At this point it would probably be very easy for someone to convert or thoroughly ‘turn’ you towards the idea of never approaching a cliff again!

Are you an extrovert or its opposite, an introvert? An extrovert is someone who is ‘turned’ outward towards other people. An introvert, on the other hand, is ‘turned’ more within, preferring his or her own company to that of others.

Let’s take yet another ‘turn’ at learning that vert means ‘turn.’ You might think that it would be a bad thing if one of your vertebrae were ‘turned.’ It would keep a chiropractor in business! All kidding aside, vertebrae originally referred to bones upon which other bones can ‘turn.’

The purpose of advertisements is to ‘turn’ the attention of potential customers towards a certain product or service. One must be careful, however, not to be perverted, or thoroughly ‘turned’ from normal thrifty behavior into buying something you would be better off without!

Now your vocabulary will go vertical since you have learned so much about the root word vert—‘turn’ your attention towards this root, and you cannot help but be diverted towards word excellence!

  1. invert: ‘turn’ upside-down, or on its head
  2. revert: ‘turn’ back
  3. divert: ‘turn’ from
  4. avert: ‘turn’ away
  5. vertical: ‘turned’ up
  6. vertigo: ‘turning’ dizzily
  7. convert: thoroughly ‘turn’
  8. extrovert: ‘turned’ outwards
  9. extravert: ‘turned’ outwards (variant spelling)
  10. introvert: ‘turned’ within
  11. vertebrae: bones which ‘turn’ upon each other
  12. advertisement: that which ‘turns’ you towards a product
  13. pervert: to thoroughly ‘turn’ away from normal behavior


  • vortex

    A vortex is a force, such as a tornado or whirlpool, that draws things to its center and overwhelms anything caught within it.

  • incontrovertible

    Incontrovertible facts are certain, unquestionably true, and impossible to doubt however hard you might try to convince yourself otherwise.

  • subvert

    To subvert something, like a government, is to try to destroy or damage its power and influence; to subvert someone is to corrupt her morals, loyalty, or faith.

  • vertigo

    Vertigo is the feeling of sickness and dizziness some people experience when looking down from a high place.

  • avert

    When you avert your eyes, you turn them away; when you avert a disaster, you prevent it from happening—thereby also turning it away.

  • inadvertent

    Something that is done inadvertently is not done intentionally; rather, it is an accident that happens because someone is not being attentive to their surroundings.

  • introvert

    An introvert is someone who primarily prefers being by themselves instead of hanging out with others socially; nevertheless, they still enjoy spending time with friends.

  • advertorial

    An advertorial is a long advertisement—usually appearing in a newspaper or magazine—that has the form and feel of a normal article or editorial but which is actually trying to sell something or push a point of view.

  • vertiginous

    A vertiginous agent, such as a very high cliff or inner ear infection, causes dizziness or a whirling about in the head.

  • revert

    When something reverts, it turns back to a former state or condition.

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