'Revert': Definition, Meaning and Examples

By Amy Gilmore, updated on May 11, 2023

Has someone asking you to 'revert' something left you wondering what the word means? If so, I can help! In this guide, you will find the definition, meaning, and examples of how to use 'revert.'

Do you need a quick answer?

Here it is:

  • Revert is a verb that means to go back or return to a previous version. 

That is the short answer. However, there is more to learn about this word. So, keep reading!

'Revert' Definition: What Does It Mean?

'Revert' is an action word that the Merriam-Webster dictionary describes as:

  • To come or go back to something

Depending on the usage context, it can also mean:

  • To return something to someone or their heirs after a reversion
  • Return to a primitive state
  • To give power or control back to someone


Knowing synonyms for words helps you mix up your word usage so your writing is not redundant.

So, here are a few you could use:

  • Return
  • Regress
  • Retrogress
  • Degenerate
  • Relapse
  • Lapse
  • Retrograde
  • Ebb
  • Fall
  • Backslide
  • Reverse

Similar Terms

  • Go back
  • Start over
  • Start again
  • Try again
  • Previous version
  • Restore original

How to Use 'Revert'

It is most frequently used as a verb as reverted, reverting, or 'revert.' However, the word can also be a noun. A reverter is a person who turns something back. You could call yourself a reverter if you have ever returned to a document's previous version.

However, people rarely use it that way.

So, how do you know how to use it? 

  • Use 'revert' to ask someone to return to a previous version of something.

For example, you may hear your boss say:

I apologize. I know you put a lot of work into these revisions, but can you 'revert' back to the first draft? I feel like we are heading in the wrong direction. You followed my instructions, but I like the first version better after reading it. 

  • Use it to say that you are giving control or power back to someone.

For example, you may hear people say things like:

                     I will 'revert' to John on this topic because he is the expert. 

Regarding usage, it is worth noting that people often mistakenly say 'revert' back. There is no need to add back because the term already means to go back. So, if you want to use correct grammar, avoid using these two words together.

  • Use it to ask someone to go back to something like a book or reference material.

For example, your teacher may tell you:

Please 'revert' to your textbook to find the answers to the practice test. If you fill them in, you can use them on the final exam. So, I highly suggest you fill it out. 

When to Use 'Revert'

It is moderately used, most often in professional settings.

For example:

I want to thank you for attending ABC Company's third annual town hall. The first matter we will discuss is the progress of our new computer network implementation. I know some of you are already using the new desktop, but we need you to 'revert' to the old one temporarily. We will let you know when you can return to the new system.

  • There is nothing wrong with using it in informal settings, either.

For example:

I sent the details. Please 'revert' to my last text. You will find the date, time, and location of the appointment.

However, most people reserve its use for discussing business matters.

Pronunciation: How Do You Pronounce 'Revert?'

You should be pretty comfortable using this term. However, many people are hesitant to use words they are uncomfortable pronouncing.

So, here is a pronunciation guide:

Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce the term 'revert':


Notice that the first part is pronounced ri, not ree. 

Example Sentences

At this point, you likely have a good idea of how to use this word.

Here are some example sentences to make sure.

  • To find the answer to question 12, you need to revert to page 327 in your textbook.
  • Revert your attention away from your distractions and toward your goals. That is the only way to accomplish greatness.
  • You need to revert to the way you were before the accident. I know that can be challenging, but that should be your goal.
  • We are going to revert to the way we did things before. That may seem like a step back to some of you, but sometimes you need to get back to basics and rebuild from there.
  • Before you contact customer support, revert to the owner's manual and go through the troubleshooting guide.
  • After going on our last vacation to Hawaii, it was challenging to revert to our daily monotonous life.
  • As an industry leader, we are always innovating. However, we revert to the original designs during product development. That way, we are always incorporating and improving on what made us successful in the first place.
  • After seeing our latest numbers, I am convinced that we need to revert to our previous sales methods. Shortly after the changes, our sales started declining steadily.
  • As a member of the customer care team, it is vital to revert to the sales rep anytime there are customer disputes over the contract. The salesperson has first-hand knowledge of the deal. They will sit down with the client to discuss their concerns and review the documents they signed to ensure they understand their contract.
  • We have to revert to a simpler life. Things are too hectic now.

Final Advice on 'Revert' Definition and Meaning

The defining 'revert' is fairly straightforward, but it can still be challenging to differentiate between similar-sounding words like divert and reverse.

So, here is a quick summary of what we learned:

  • 'Revert' is a verb used to say that something should be returned to a person, state, or version.
  • You can also use 'revert' to return attention to someone. 

If you get stuck on these terms in the future, you can come back to this guide for a reminder. You can also learn a lot from the other confusing word guides here.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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