average

noun
av·​er·​age | \ˈa-v(ə-)rij \

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

b : mean sense 1b

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]

average

adjective

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

average

verb
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

Adjective

averagely adverb
averageness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for average

Noun

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 Huskies trailed at the half in each of those games, outscored by an average of 37-27. Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "Huskies hold on for a needed victory, topping San Diego 66-63 behind Jaylen Nowell’s 18 points," 13 Nov. 2018 Botox is said to decrease the frequency of migraine days by an average of 50 percent for those who suffer chronically (people who experience 15 or more headache days per month). Rosemary Donahue, Allure, "Everything You Need to Know About Getting Botox Injections for Migraines," 8 Aug. 2018 The Scholar Awards were presented to the male and female senior athletes who had the highest cumulative grade-point averages over the course of their high school careers. Mike May, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Berean Christian School student-athletes feted at awards ceremony," 7 July 2018 More than 40 percent who leave have grade-point averages of at least 3.0, or a solid B, according to the education consulting company Civitas Learning. Jon Marcus, star-telegram, "More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit," 7 July 2018 Students must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average while enrolled at Baltimore City Community College. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "500 Baltimore public school students accepted in free community college program," 25 June 2018 Jones, who had a 3.16 grade-point average, volunteered as a youth coach in football and track and field. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Desert Edge's Tyson Jones, Chandler's Jai Gruenwald named Gatorade winners," 21 June 2018 To win an award, a squad has to earn the top grade-point average in its respective sport in California. Staff Reports, latimes.com, "Sports Briefs: Flintridge Prep boys’ squads earn state awards," 14 June 2018 Miscellany Golden Knights give Fluery three-year deal The Golden Knights agreed to terms with Marc-Andre Fleury, the three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie, on a three-year contract extension worth an average of $7 million a year. BostonGlobe.com, "Knee surgery scheduled for Lonzo Ball," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Positions at the new campus will include executives and managers, software development engineers, lawyers, accountants and administrators, making an average salary of at least $150,000 a year. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Who will Facebook fire after a damning New York Times investigation?," 15 Nov. 2018 Adjusted for rising prices, average weekly wages have improved 0.9 percent this year. Josh Boak, The Seattle Times, "US consumer prices increased 0.3 percent in October," 14 Nov. 2018 The company claims that equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 subsidies are deeply unpopular, but far from uncommon," 14 Nov. 2018 Did this production house not have access to, say, material used in an average pair of sunglasses? Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "We unbox the $200 “power armor” Fallout ’76 version so you don’t have to," 13 Nov. 2018 According to a Fraser Institute study, the average Canadian waits three months to see an ophthalmologist, four months for an orthopedist and five months for a neurosurgeon. Scott W. Atlas, WSJ, "The False Promise of ‘Medicare for All’," 12 Nov. 2018 In an average flu season, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized. Lindsey Vehlewald, SELF, "We Never Got Flu Shots. Then the Flu Almost Killed My Husband," 9 Nov. 2018 Planned Parenthood also says that the average age for teens' first time is 17. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "This Is the Average Age Teens Are Losing Their Virginity," 29 Oct. 2018 According to HomeAdvisor, the average home inspection in the United States costs about $326. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Should Know About Home Inspections," 10 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Bucks’ first-round draft pick out of UCLA in 1977, Johnson made an immediate impact as a rookie, averaged 25.6 points in his second year and was the catalyst on teams that won five consecutive division titles under Don Nelson. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: It's time for the Bucks to retire Marques Johnson's jersey number," 14 July 2018 When Herbert was healthy last season, the Ducks went 6–2 and averaged 49.1 points and 516.5 yards a game. Andy Staples, SI.com, "Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL," 12 July 2018 This summer, Igiehon is one of the top players on the Under Armour travel basketball circuit, averaging 10.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for Team Rio, which also features five-star guards Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "3 prospects who could help Louisville basketball's 2019 signing class," 11 July 2018 The 39-year-old Knight was a guard/forward at UCLA from 1998-2002, averaging 14.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a senior. CBS News, "Billy Knight, former UCLA basketball player, found dead after posting YouTube video," 11 July 2018 McDermott started three times in 26 appearances and averaged nine points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "New Pacer Doug McDermott grew up a Pacers, Reggie Miller fan," 6 July 2018 James had what could be considered his finest season last year, averaging 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists a game and leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their fourth consecutive appearance in the N.B.A. finals. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "The Lakers Got Their Man. (That’s What the Lakers Do.)," 2 July 2018 In this, his seventh season, Thompson had his fourth straight year averaging at least 20 points and registered a career best in three-point shooting percentage (44.0). Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "A dynasty secured," 13 June 2018 In 2016-17, Russell Westbrook became the first NBA player to average a triple-double for a season since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62. Christopher L. Gasper, BostonGlobe.com, "The Lions in the Super Bowl, a .400 hitter in a season, and other sports dreams I’d like to see become reality," 14 July 2018

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

Noun

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1769, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for average

Noun

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

Adjective

see average entry 1

Verb

see average entry 1

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Statistics for average

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for average

The first known use of average was in 1746

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More Definitions for average

average

noun

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

average

adjective

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

average

verb

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

: to have (a specified number) as an average

: to calculate the average of (something)

average

noun
av·​er·​age | \ˈa-və-rij, 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.

average

adjective

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

average

verb
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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Comments on average

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