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

norm, normal, par, standard

Synonyms: Adjective

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

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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


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.


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.


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

On a month-over-month basis, Seattle-area home costs slipped down another 0.3 percent in January, a slightly bigger drop than the national average. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle-area home price cool-down stands out among U.S. cities," 26 Mar. 2019 Employment of accountants and auditors was forecast to rise 10% between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Tight Labor Market Calls For Speedier Hiring Process," 8 Feb. 2019 Due to this program, according to a 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office, a slight majorities of communities impacted by base closings demonstrated better economic performance than the national average. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 That’s more than the national average, which saw such prescriptions drop by 29 percent in the same time period. Aubrey Whelan, Philly.com, "Independence Blue Cross reports dramatic drop in opioid prescriptions among members," 13 July 2018 The data obtained by the Post shows a steady flow of suspensions and spikes on particular days, such as Dec. 7, when 1.2 million accounts were suspended, nearly 50 percent higher than the average for that month. Craig Timberg And Elizabeth Dwoskin, chicagotribune.com, "Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk," 7 July 2018 Only about half of states spend anything close to that figure: A dozen spend 25 percent more than the national average, and 10 states spend 25 percent less. Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, "The Problem With Generalizing About ‘America’s Schools’," 5 July 2018 In West Virginia, the VA in Huntington has prescribed take-home opiates at a rate about 230 percent higher than the national average. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "As war vets enter the fray, stigma lessens around cannabis," 5 July 2018 These rates of participation are significantly higher than the national average for ordinary Americans. Dana R. Fisher, Washington Post, "Who came out in the brutal heat to the Families Belong Together March? Here’s our data.," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Plus, Robison points out, a move during the school year results in children falling, on average, six months behind. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Nonprofit Helps Designers Change People's Lives," 3 Apr. 2019 The policy seems to be working though, both judging by Metro’s sales and a throwaway stat in the presentation that the average Epic Games Store user already owns three games. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "The Epic Games Store won't always push for exclusives 'at this scale'," 21 Mar. 2019 According to the College Scorecard, university graduates on average earn $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019 Levitt has done a lot of work analyzing insurance filings and says that, on average, health plans raised their premiums 6 percent to account for the individual mandate disappearing. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Obamacare is having a surprisingly good year," 26 Nov. 2018 The move is expected to bring 40,000 jobs with an average wage of $150,000 annually, putting young job seekers like Rahman in a desirable position. Natt Garun, The Verge, "For Queens residents, Amazon’s HQ2 isn’t arriving without a fight," 20 Nov. 2018 Some critics are aghast at his prices—customers spend, on average, $75,000 to $100,000 in a single visit—and his endless appetite for exotic animal skins. Maer Roshan, Town & Country, "In Beverly Hills and Beyond, Bijan Carries on a Tradition of Excess and Exclusivity," 22 Oct. 2018 On average, the Marshalls sit about 6.5 feet above sea level. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "To Save Themselves from Sea Level Rise, the Marshall Islands Want to Raise the Land," 26 Feb. 2019 Trump’s judicial nominees have been younger, whiter, and more likely to be male, on average, than those offered up by President Barack Obama, according to a Washington Post analysis. Li Zhou, Vox, "Republican Sen. Tim Scott sinks Trump judicial nominee tied to voter suppression efforts," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The stock has averaged an after-earnings move of 19.2% in either direction. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "An Earnings Climb Buys Stitch Fix Time," 11 Mar. 2019 Sims, a 6-foot-6 forward entering his junior season at LSU, averaged 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last year with 10 starts in 32 games. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "LSU basketball star killed in restaurant shooting near another school: 'We are all devastated'," 28 Sep. 2018 By contrast, young men of color averaged 2.22 activities and young white men only 1.78. Melissa Deckman, Vox, "Will young women of color shape the Democratic Party?," 23 Aug. 2018 Ball, who was chosen by the Lakers with the second overall pick in last year’s draft, averaged 10.2 points and 7.2 assists during his first NBA season. BostonGlobe.com, "Knee surgery scheduled for Lonzo Ball," 14 July 2018 After all, as a Purdue freshman, the Evanston graduate averaged 2.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 12.6 minutes per game. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "Evanston grad Nojel Eastern 'living in the moment' at Purdue after NBA draft process," 14 July 2018 During the 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets, Howard averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game for one of his most productive statistical seasons in years. Candace Buckner, Houston Chronicle, "Ex-Rocket Dwight Howard officially signs with Wizards," 13 July 2018 Still, Ayton averaged a double-double – 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game - and there were enough glimpses of his athleticism, physicality and talent to see why the Suns are so high on him. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns' summer-league takeaways: Deandre Ayton's progress, efforts of Davon Reed, Shaq Harrison," 13 July 2018 The 6-foot-10 Metu averaged 10.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and a block in three games at the Utah Summer League. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Metu’s misfortune means missed opportunity for Spurs’ second-rounder," 12 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


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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Statistics for average

Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for average

The first known use of average was in 1746

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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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Comments on average

What made you want to look up average? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

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