*average*proportionally distributed charge for damage at sea, modification of Middle French

*avarie*damage to ship or cargo, from Old Italian

*avaria,*from Arabic

*ʽawārīya*damaged merchandise

First Known Use: 1732

Dictionary

: a number that is calculated by adding quantities together and then dividing the total by the number of quantities

: a level that is typical of a group, class, or series : a middle point between extremes

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— **on average** or **on the average** **:** taking the typical example of the group under consideration <prices have increased *on average* by five percent>

See average defined for English-language learners

See average defined for kids

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- The
*average*of 16, 8, and 6 is 10. - Take all these temperatures and find their
*average*. - An
*average*of 2,000 people attended the show each night. - Prices have increased
**on average**about eight percent. *On average*, women live longer than men.- His work has been above the
*average*.

from earlier *average* proportionally distributed charge for damage at sea, modification of Middle French *avarie* damage to ship or cargo, from Old Italian *avaria,* from Arabic *ʽawārīya* damaged merchandise

First Known Use: 1732

average, mean, median, norm mean something that represents a middle point. average is the quotient obtained by dividing the sum total of a set of figures by the number of figures <scored an *average* of 85 on tests>. mean may be the simple average or it may represent value midway between two extremes <a high of 70° and a low of 50° give a *mean* of 60°>. median applies to the value that represents the point at which there are as many instances above as there are below <*average* of a group of persons earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 dollars an hour is 6 dollars, whereas the *median* is 5 dollars>. norm means the average of performance of a significantly large group, class, or grade <scores about the *norm* for fifth grade arithmetic>.

: calculated by adding quantities together and then dividing by the number of quantities

: ordinary or usual

: not unusually large or small

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— **av·er·age·ly** *adverb*

— **av·er·age·ness** *noun*

See average defined for English-language learners

- Take all these temperatures and find their
*average*temperature. - The investment had a higher
*average*return. - The
*average*age of the company's employees is 36. - The
*average*woman lives longer than the*average*man. - Do you know what the
*average*person earns? - the
*average*American family buyer - Sales were about
*average*for the industry on the whole. *Average*grades are not good enough to get you into graduate school.- She was an
*average*student. - She thought the performance was just
*average*.

1770

- Synonyms
- middle, intermediate, mean, median, medium, middling, midsize (
*also*midsized), moderate, modest

- Antonyms
- abnormal, exceptional, extraordinary, odd, out-of-the-way, strange, unusual

: to have (a specified number) as an average

: to calculate the average of (something)

intransitive verb

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transitive verb

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See average defined for English-language learners

- The teacher
*averaged*the students' grades. - What figure do you get when you
*average*the amount of rainfall for the last three months?

1769

AVERAGING Defined for Kids

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How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.

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