Definition of reversal noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//rɪˈvɜːsl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈvɜːrsl//
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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] reversal (of something) a change of something so that it is the opposite of what it was a complete/dramatic/sudden reversal of policy the reversal of a decision The government suffered a total reversal of fortune(s) last week.
  2. 2[countable] a change from being successful to having problems or being defeated the team’s recent reversal The company's financial problems were only a temporary reversal.
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] an exchange of positions or functions between two or more people It’s a complete role reversal/reversal of roles(= for example when a child cares for a parent).
  4. Word Originlate 15th cent. (as a legal term): from reverse + -al.Extra examples Industrial unrest and cheaper imports played their part in the company’s reversal of fortunes. Role reversal is a common feature of modern relationships. Some people looking after elderly parents have trouble with the role reversal involved. This represents an apparent reversal of previous US policy. a reversal of current trends the dramatic reversal in population decline In a sudden reversal of policy, the government has increased its offer. It’s a complete role reversal/​reversal of roles. The government suffered a total reversal of fortunes last week. The new figures suggest a reversal of the trend.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: reversal