< /ˌæd vərˈsɛər i əl/.

  1. of or relating to an adversary.
  2. involving adversaries, as plaintiff and defendant in a legal proceeding: an adversary trial.


  1. pertaining to or characterized by antagonism and conflict
  2. British having or involving opposing parties or interests in a legal contestUS term: adversary

noun plural -saries

  1. a person or group that is hostile to someone; enemy
  2. an opposing contestant in a game or sport


  1. the US term for adversarial (def. 2)

by 1892, from adversary + -al (1). Probably coined to avoid confusion which might arise with use of adversary (adj.), which is attested from late 14c. Related: Adversarially.


mid-14c., aduersere, from Anglo-French adverser (13c.), Old French adversaire “adversary, opponent, enemy,” or directly from Latin adversarius “opponent, adversary, rival,” noun use of adjective meaning “opposite, hostile, contrary,” literally “turned toward one,” from adversus “turned against” (see adverse). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by wiðerbroca.

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