revert it to its original [editing on computer: revert = undo?]

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zhonglin

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hi,

I'm aware that the word "revert" has lots of meanings, but can it also mean "to undo"?

(When editing something on computer)
1) Can you please revert it to it's original?
2) Can you revert it back?
3) Can you revert the change?

Please advise, thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You can use "reverse" with that meaning, zhonglin: Can you please reverse the change?

    It's not that common, though, so "undo" is probably clearer.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    You can use "revert" transitively. Here's a couple of examples
    1977 Evening Post (Nottingham) 24 Jan. 2/7 The suggestion to revert a central site to agricultural use seems both practical and sensible.
    1996 Nature 4 Apr. 384/2 For monogenic diseases with a later age of onset,..there is often a chance of reverting the risk to near normal.
    "Can you please revert it to its original state?" seems perfectly acceptable to me.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Parla's "restore" sounds perfect to me.

    I find "revert" a little odd in the Evening Post example. For some reason, it looks better to me in the Nature example, but I'm not sure that "revert" is any better than "reverse".

    If the risk started out at normal, then "restore" would work very well in the Nature example. I think it works well in the Post example if I understand what "revert" was supposed to mean in that sentence.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The relevant meaning given in the OED is
    To cause to return to a former function or condition
    There's both AE and BE citations, starting from 1856. It's clearly not the commonest use of "revert", but the meaning is clear, and I'm all for keeping words in use. :)
     
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