Aversion for/to/towards/of


Senior Member
French & English, Alberta, Canada
Hello friends,

In the following sentence I am not sure whether to fix "aversion of" in some way. It doesn't sound like proper usage to me.

"The sibling relationship is characterized by aversion of any suggestion of physical intimacy."
(Meaning: In a sibling relationship, any hint of physical intimacy between the two siblings is strictly prohibited/frowned upon/actively avoided. Context: A document on kinship in a particular Melanesian community.)

I'm trying to work out whether "aversion of" is correct here. I know that the constructions "aversion towards" and "aversion for" both exist but I'm not sure if they differ in some subtle way, and somehow sense they wouldn't work here. I'm also not sure whether "aversion of" exists at all, nor "aversion to". The more I think about it, the more "aversion of" might actually be all right.

Thank you!
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hello, Kotuku33. I expect to see "to" after "aversion": ...characterized by an aversion to any suggestion...

    I might have heard "aversion for" in somebody's speech, but it sounds a little odd to me. "Towards" seems needlessly long and "of" sounds really strange.


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    The standard preposition with "aversion" is "to." Aversion of would only appear in a phrase like "the aversion of criminals to honest hard work," which is not the same kind of thing at all.


    English - England
    Here is the Google Ngram of "Aversion *". This gives the frequency of Aversion/aversion followed by any other word. As you see, the collocation is "aversion to" and nothing else really works.

    The OED describes "towards" and "against" as obsolete as of 1885.

    I would mark aversion of as incorrect.
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