avail

verb
\ə-ˈvāl \
availed also availed of; availing also availing of; avails also avails of

Definition of avail 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to be of use or advantage : serve Our best efforts did not avail.

transitive verb

: to produce or result in as a benefit or advantage : gain His efforts availed him nothing.

avail oneself of or less commonly avail of

: to make use of : to take advantage of They availed themselves of his services.

avail

noun
\ə-ˈvāl \

Definition of avail (Entry 2 of 2)

: advantage toward attainment of a goal or purpose : use Their effort was of little/no avail.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for avail

Synonyms: Verb

advantage, benefit, help, profit, serve

Synonyms: Noun

account, mileage, service, serviceability, serviceableness, use, usefulness, utility

Antonyms: Noun

uselessness, worthlessness

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Examples of avail in a Sentence

Verb

In such a Hobbesian world, grand idealistic designs will avail the United States nothing. Nor will a quest for American dominance in the name of the good. — Laura Secor, New York Times Book Review, 26 June 2005 Soon middle-class girls were slipping into their starched white shirtwaists, marching into a place of business … and eventually standing up as private secretaries, bank tellers, accountants, and managers. So many, in fact, availed themselves of this new opportunity that by 1900 nearly 75 percent of all clerical workers in America were women (Bliven puts the number, in 1888, at 60,000); and for decades the typist and her machine were both called "typewriters." — Arthur Krystal, Harper's, December 2002 One comes away from the book stunned by the remarkable energy and willingness to resist that so many demonstrated but haunted by the recognition of how little that resistance availed. — Louis Menand, New Yorker, 25 Nov. 2002 Our best efforts did not avail. all your begging will not avail you in the least

Noun

It seemed to be the national dish, as it appeared on every menu. It is a spicy pork or veal stew with tomatoes and onions and a little sour cream on top. It was fabulous, and I'm dying to get the recipe. I've spent hours looking for it on the internet to no avail. — Linda Walker, Cook's Country, June 1995 In the 14th century the porcelain from China made its way westward along trade routes to Europe's rich and royal. The artisans of Europe tried to duplicate the Chinese formula and process, but to no avail. — Hattie Clark, Christian Science Monitor, 3 Aug. 1987 although I appreciate the concern, your help would be of little avail in this situation
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The thirsty can avail themselves of an extensive collection of beers and cocktails (our bartender’s finesse with a classic martini and Manhattan commanded respect). Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Mt. Washington Tavern maintains its appeal with vibrant food, lively spaces," 14 June 2018 More than 8,000 Alaskans avail themselves of family planning services at facilities funded by Title X grants, according to HHS. Erica Martinson, Anchorage Daily News, "New federal plan could cut funding for Alaska’s Planned Parenthood facilities," 29 May 2018 The three-story, 44-unit building, at 839 Massachusetts St., offers permanent refuge for low-income down-on-their-luck vets, who can also avail themselves of job training classes and tips on daily living skills. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "For these veterans in Gary, Memorial Day a solemn holiday," 25 May 2018 In fact, Russian operatives availed themselves of the precise nature of the ad targeting offered by Facebook, zeroing in on categories of Facebook users, such as gun lovers, Trump supporters, residents of certain places, and more. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "Thousands of Facebook ads bought by Russians to fool U.S. voters released by Congress," 10 May 2018 In all, 550 public safety officers availed themselves of $2.4 million in forgivable loans through the Daley-era programs between 1995 and 2010, according to Department of Planning and Development spokesman Peter Strazzabosco. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, "Emanuel plan to get police to buy homes in more violent neighborhoods hasn't netted many sales yet," 17 Apr. 2018 Brown’s success at Schrader attracted a host of clients eager to avail themselves of his magic, including Maybach, founded in 2004 by descendants of the engineer who invented the high-speed internal combustion engine and co-founded Mercedes. Jay Mcinerney, Town & Country, "The Southern Winemaker Who's Making a Name for Himself in California," 21 Sep. 2017 My favorite guest experiences have been when generous souls avail me of their bedroom and beach and leave me to my own devices 'til dinner time. Marcy Blum, ELLE Decor, "Expert Advice To Make You The Perfect Weekend Guest," 4 Sep. 2015 At January's Enigma security conference, Google security engineer Grzegorz Milka revealed that fewer than 10 percent of active Google users avail themselves of 2FA. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "Just How Random Are Two Factor Authentication Codes?," 21 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After searching the capital, Amman, to no avail, the only solution was for Mr. Zureikat to order one from Syria. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Stephanopoulos pleaded with Quinto to get him out of the nerd jam but to no avail. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Zachary Quinto Teases George Stephanopoulos for 'Star Wars' Spock Mix-Up," 12 July 2018 Corker and other lawmakers have been pushing similar legislation in the Senate to no avail. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Senators blast Trump's 'reckless' tariffs, warn of impact on farmers, businesses," 12 July 2018 Several Cambridge police units searched the area that morning, but to no avail, the report said. Andres Picon, BostonGlobe.com, "Cambridge 19-year-old arrested for armed robbery of $2.33 lighter," 11 July 2018 Many victims made phone calls to the FBI to no avail. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "The Queen Of Hollywood Scams Just Told Anna Delvey To Hold Her Beer," 11 July 2018 For the next 45 minutes, a succession of employees worked on the problem—to no avail. Stephen Miller, WSJ, "Who Put the Hard in Hard Copy?," 5 July 2018 Family and friends spent days trying to contact Eastman, to no avail. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Missing Wash. Teen Found Dead — and Childhood Friend Charged in Sex Assault, Beating Death," 3 July 2018 Meanwhile, friends and relatives fret, wheedle and cajole – often to no avail – to get their aging loved ones to adopt important modifications to make their homes safer. Jane E. Brody, charlotteobserver, "How to age well and stay in your home," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of avail

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for avail

Verb

Middle English, Anglo-French availler, probably from a- (from Latin ad-) + valer, valoir to be of worth, from Latin valēre — more at wield

Noun

see avail entry 1

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Phrases Related to avail

of little avail

of no avail

to no avail

Statistics for avail

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avail

The first known use of avail was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for avail

avail

verb

English Language Learners Definition of avail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be useful or helpful to (someone or something)

avail

noun

English Language Learners Definition of avail (Entry 2 of 2)

: help toward reaching a goal

avail

verb
\ə-ˈvāl \
availed; availing

Kids Definition of avail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be of use or help

2 : to make use of Many employees availed themselves of the free health services.

avail

noun

Kids Definition of avail (Entry 2 of 2)

: help toward reaching a goal : use Our work was of little avail.

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Comments on avail

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