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 colors that average to gray
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

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? See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Weekly initial claims averaged about 214,000 from the beginning of the year to early September, about the same level as the 2019 weekly average of around 218,000. Bryan Mena, WSJ, 15 Sep. 2022 FiveThirtyEight’s polling average has DeSantis up by about 7 points and Rubio leading by roughly 4. Rick Klein, ABC News, 15 Sep. 2022 San Francisco reported the lowest average of new coronavirus infections since early March, but hospitalizations ticked back up. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Sep. 2022 In June 2022, the average dropped as low as 258 daily deaths. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 14 Sep. 2022 Ratings of the film have varied drastically, from a 4/10 star average on IMDb to 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Alexis Potter, The Arizona Republic, 14 Sep. 2022 And as ridiculously good as her scoring average is, her shooting percentage -- almost 60.5% -- is even better. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2022 Makayla Angel, the girls SAC leader with a 190 average, had a 407 series as Winter Springs’ girls upped their record to 6-0. Buddy Collings, Orlando Sentinel, 14 Sep. 2022 The Ravens gained only 63 yards on 21 carries (3.0 average) — their fewest rushing yards with Jackson as their starter since 2018. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, 14 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Queen Elizabeth II, who died at age 96, assumed the throne at age 25 in 1952, when the average monarch was about 44, according to my calculations. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, 16 Sep. 2022 Walgreens is seeing high demand at its Cleveland area pharmacies for the new booster dose, but demand for it has been about average at University Hospitals. Julie Washington, cleveland, 16 Sep. 2022 The average mortgage payment for families going through Acts program is $868. Talis Shelbourne, Journal Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2022 Orioles relievers have an average four-seam fastball velocity of 95.1 mph, seventh in the majors according to Baseball Savant. Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun, 16 Sep. 2022 The civil protection agency said about 15.75 inches of rain — one third of the average annual amount — fell in a matter of two to three hours, Reuters reported. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 16 Sep. 2022 For context, the average household uses one-half to one acre-foot of water per year, and Ollerton needs 1,200 acre-feet to farm 300 water duty acres, or acres requiring water, annually. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 16 Sep. 2022 John Burn Murdoch, who looks at how the U.S. and U.K. actually compare with western peers when considering the average household rather than the highest earners. Peter Vanham, Fortune, 16 Sep. 2022 Individual ratings should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism, but the average score from a large number of check-ins is a pretty good indicator of a beer’s quality. Matt Koesters, The Enquirer, 16 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the tax would fall only on businesses that average more than $1 billion in profits over three years. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 Before expenses for vetting and distribution that would average $760,000 for each of the 500-plus survivors in the case. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, 29 July 2022 This season, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is offering purses that average $800,000 a day — the richest prizes of any track in the state. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 July 2022 Medicare pays the plans a monthly per-member-per-month fee (PMPM) that average roughly $1000. Howard Gleckman, Forbes, 15 June 2022 One thing the San Francisco 49ers’ Pro Bowl pass rusher evidently didn’t do: Give much thought to his potential contract extension that could average about $30 million a season. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 June 2022 Hatch chiles grow on plants that average around 30 inches tall and are ready to harvest in about 80 days. Leanne Potts, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 June 2022 But those specialty metals see losses that average over 30 percent during use. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 May 2022 For example, oil companies typically pay host countries royalties on their revenues that average about 16%. Jennapher Lunde Seefeldt, The Conversation, 15 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near average



average agreement

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Statistics for average

Last Updated

18 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for average


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on average

Nglish: Translation of average for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of average for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about average


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