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- 1. The state or condition of being contrary or opposed; opposition, contrariety. Obs.
- 2. The condition of adverse fortune; a state opposed to well-being or prosperity; misfortune, distress, trial, or affliction. (The earliest sense in English)
- 3. An adverse circumstance; a misfortune, calamity, trial.
- 4. Contrariness of nature; perversity. (In Shak. = perverse one, quibbler.) Obs.
A witness at a trial who is so adverse to the party that called him or her that he or she can be cross-examined as though called to testify by the opposing party.
The federal rules of evidence provide that witnesses who are hostile, or adverse, can be interrogated through the use of leading questions.