What does the word ‘everted’ mean?

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Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: everted….

I discovered the writing of Aminatta Forma earlier this year, thanks to the recommendation of a client. Her arresting and multi-layered novel Happiness — which considers trauma, grief, immigration and animal rights — offers both engaging story-telling and very fine writing.

The book also gave me my word of the week, everted. Here is how Forma used it.

She was neatly coiffed and made-up, her lips glossy and everted.

I hadn’t encountered it before but the term is a biological one meaning to turn a body part (such as an eyelid or lip) either outwards or inside out.

The etymology of the word is Latinate from evertere meaning “to overthrow, subvert,” from ex meaning  “out, out of” + vertere meaning “to turn.”  By 1804 the word had come to mean to “turn outward or inside out.”

Words considered to be synonyms are: converse, inverted, transposed and turned. While related words include everted, everting and eversive.

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