av·​er·​age | \ ˈa-v(ə-)rij How to pronounce average (audio) \

Definition of average

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a single value (such as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values
2a : an estimation of or approximation to an arithmetic mean
b : a level (as of intelligence) typical of a group, class, or series above the average
3 : a ratio expressing the average performance especially of an athletic team or an athlete computed according to the number of opportunities for successful performance a batting average
on average or on the average
: taking the typical example of the group under consideration Prices have increased on average by five percent. [=the average increase has been five percent]



Definition of average (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : equaling an arithmetic mean
2a : being about midway between extremes a man of average height
b : not out of the ordinary : common on an average day the average person


averaged; averaging

Definition of average (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to be or come to an average The gain averaged out to 20 percent.
b : to have a medial value of a color averaging a pale purple
2 : to buy on a falling market or sell on a rising market additional shares or commodities so as to obtain a more favorable average price usually used with down or up

transitive verb

1 : to do, get, or have on the average or as an average sum or quantity averages 12 hours of work a day
2 : to find the arithmetic mean of (a series of unequal quantities)
3a : to bring toward the average
b : to divide among a number according to a size, number, or amount that is directly related to or appropriate for something average a loss

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Other Words from average


averagely adverb
averageness noun

Synonyms for average

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for average


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

Did You Know?

The word average came into English from Middle French avarie, a derivative of an Arabic word meaning “damaged merchandise.” Avarie originally meant damage sustained by a ship or its cargo, but came to mean the expenses of such damage. When the English borrowed the word, they altered it to conform to the pattern of words ending in -age. When a ship or its cargo was damaged at sea, the owners or insurers shared the expense, or average. An average-adjuster determined a division of costs among them. An average then became any equal distribution or division, like the determination of an arithmetic mean. Soon the arithmetic mean itself was called an average. Now the word may be applied to any mean or middle value or level.

Examples of average in a Sentence

Noun 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. Adjective 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. Verb The teacher averaged the students' grades. What figure do you get when you average the amount of rainfall for the last three months?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The seven-day rolling average since then is also 5%. cleveland, "Ohio reports just 1,611 new coronavirus cases; 16,818 more second vaccine doses completed: Monday update," 22 Feb. 2021 The city’s seven-day rolling average of new cases has dropped to 639. Peggy O’hare, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio reports fewer COVID patients in hospitals, in ICUs, on ventilators - but new cases and deaths persist," 20 Feb. 2021 By May 27, Chile, along with Peru, had reached the world's highest infection rates per capita over a seven-day rolling average, according to Our World in Data (OWID), an independent statistics website headquartered at Oxford University. Rafael Romo, CNN, "How Chile became a leader in Covid-19 vaccination," 19 Feb. 2021 The case rate per 100,000 residents in Carroll County, also reported as a seven-day rolling average, dropped by nearly 2 percentage points to 9.24%, its lowest point since Nov. 5 and less than one-fifth of the rate (47.58) reported on Jan. 11. Bob Blubaugh, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "No new COVID-19 cases reported in Carroll County congregate living facilities this week," 18 Feb. 2021 Despite a tough lockdown, the seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Slovakia has risen from 1.68 deaths per 100,000 people on Feb. 1 to 1.78 deaths per 100,000 people on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University figures issued Tuesday. Karel Janicek, Star Tribune, "Slovakia sees virus deaths soar, blames variant found in UK," 16 Feb. 2021 On Saturday, the seven-day rolling average for deaths was about 2,500. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Georgia nearing 14,000 coronavirus deaths," 15 Feb. 2021 The worst of the current wave of coronavirus infections seems to be behind us, with the seven-day rolling average of new cases trending down in almost every part of the United States. Lazaro Gamio, BostonGlobe.com, "US coronavirus cases are down but eclipse spring and summer peaks," 6 Feb. 2021 The virus has killed more than 459,000 people in the U.S., but the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases went from 180,489 as of Jan. 22 to 125,854 as of Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Author: Heather Hollingsworth And Cut Anderson, Anchorage Daily News, "Officials plead: Don’t let Super Bowl become superspreader," 6 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Wittenberg predicts the average vacancy rate to hit 6.5 to 7.0% this year. Jim Buchta, Star Tribune, "Good news for renters? Twin Cities apartment vacancies are rising," 24 Feb. 2021 Maryland has now averaged 30,387 doses everyday over the last seven days, the highest average daily immunization rate recorded to date. Alex Mann, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland adds 862 coronavirus cases, 27 COVID-19 deaths," 24 Feb. 2021 So far, about 65 million doses of Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines have been administered in the U.S., with an average immunization rate of about 1.3 million shots per day. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "FDA says Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine is safe and effective," 24 Feb. 2021 By comparison, the U.S. average rate since the pandemic began was 8,415 cases per 100,000 people as of Monday, according to the CDC. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, "COVID-19 hospitalizations continue improving trends as Arizona adds 1,184 new cases, 148 deaths," 24 Feb. 2021 The average nightly rate would be $178 in year one, rising to $197 in year two and $211 by year three. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Old Detroit Lions building to make way for 227-room boutique hotel in Corktown," 23 Feb. 2021 The seven-day average positivity rate statewide for molecular tests, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 11.8% as of Sunday. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Dallas County reports 348 coronavirus cases, 18 deaths as nation’s toll from COVID-19 tops 500,000," 23 Feb. 2021 The average tax rate is too low to sustain the investments in infrastructure, technology and education that a prosperous 21st century-economy needs. Joseph Stiglitz For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Stiglitz: Failing to pass Biden's relief package would be irresponsible and reckless," 23 Feb. 2021 Cuomo said the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate had fallen 43 straight days, hitting 3.5% on Friday. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Preaching vaccines, bonnet scheme, well water: News from around our 50 states," 22 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb George, who in December agreed to extend his contract an additional four seasons and $190 million, is the only player this season to average at least 24 points while shooting at least 45% from behind the arc. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers’ Paul George selected as a reserve for the NBA All-Star game," 23 Feb. 2021 But George has become the only NBA player to average 23.5 points while shooting 45% from 3-point range. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA All-Star reserves picks: Damian Lillard a lock, but the rest not so easy," 23 Feb. 2021 In fact, the Tigers boast three players who average more than 14 points per game. Joe Magill, cleveland, "How deep of a run can Elyria Catholic make? Division III girls basketball sectional-district preview," 15 Feb. 2021 Durant recently joined Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60) as the only players in NBA history to average at least 30 points through their first 15 games with a new team. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Where should Warriors' Steph Curry be in MVP discussion?," 8 Feb. 2021 Portland is not going to average 95.5 points per game this season. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers shift focus to Utah after forgettable Denver trip," 21 Dec. 2020 Northwestern has seven players who average 9.8 points or more. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "No. 4 Michigan State basketball at Northwestern: Scouting report, prediction," 19 Dec. 2020 Transfers Liam Robbins, Both Gach and Brandon Johnson and freshman Jamal Mashburn Jr. combined to average nearly 40 points entering Tuesday. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Blowout loss at Illinois exposed Gophers' lack of experience together," 16 Dec. 2020 Bean, a 6-7 power forward, was named to the all-MW Defensive Team in the spring and is the only returning player in the MW to average a double-double (11.9 points, 10.5 rebounds). Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah State men’s basketball shoots to reconjure the magic of 2020 behind a new cast of players," 23 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'average.' 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 average


1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1769, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for average

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for average

Time Traveler

The first known use of average was in 1746

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Statistics for average

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for average



English Language Learners Definition of average

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of average (Entry 2 of 3)

: calculated by adding quantities together and then dividing by the number of quantities
: ordinary or usual
: not unusually large or small



English Language Learners Definition of average (Entry 3 of 3)

: to have (a specified number) as an average
: to calculate the average of (something)


av·​er·​age | \ ˈa-və-rij How to pronounce average (audio) , ˈav-rij \

Kids Definition of average

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a number that is calculated by adding quantities together and dividing the total by the number of quantities : arithmetic mean An average of 20 students are in each class.
2 : something usual in a group, class, or series His grades have been better than average.



Kids Definition of average (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : equaling or coming close to an average The average age of students in my class is eleven.
2 : being ordinary or usual the average person


averaged; averaging

Kids Definition of average (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to amount to usually We averaged ten miles a day.
2 : to find the average of Our teacher averaged our test scores.

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