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 Cleveland’s airfares have tracked closely to the national average, plummeting in March 2020, rebounding somewhat last summer, then dropping again last fall. Susan Glaser, cleveland, 30 May 2021 Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia have adjusted rates below the national average. Author: Dan Keating, Leslie Shapiro, Anchorage Daily News, 30 May 2021 In total, 22 of the top 25 states have child vaccination rates below the national average for poverty rates. Harry Enten, CNN, 30 May 2021 Johns Hopkins University calculates Arizona's seven-day moving average of percent positives at 3.2% as of Saturday. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, 29 May 2021 That suggests Massachusetts, which has seen greater vaccine acceptance and less hesitancy than the national average, could get a substantial bump in vaccine stragglers throughout the summer. BostonGlobe.com, 29 May 2021 In Colombia, literacy rates for Blacks are below the national average. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 29 May 2021 The auto club and insurer made that forecast even with gasoline prices at their highest levels in seven years — the national average is above $3 a gallon for regular. David Koenig, ajc, 28 May 2021 States that the pipeline runs through are all below the national average, with Alabama averaging $2.82 per gallon. Chris Morris, Fortune, 28 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective However, long average commutes make London more vulnerable to the shift to remote working. Carol Ryan, WSJ, 31 May 2021 But for the average person, V02 max falls sharply, back to pre-training levels, in less than eight weeks. Dan Gordon And Justin Roberts, CNN, 31 May 2021 China’s population was 1.41 billion in 2020, with average annual population growth over the last decade at just 0.53 percent. Washington Post, 31 May 2021 The statewide seven-day average testing positivity rate was 1.47% Monday, down from 1.57% a day earlier. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, 31 May 2021 That used to be a below-average batting average, and that player would be struggling. Arkansas Online, 31 May 2021 The estimated 9 million dogs in the UK each produce on average 340 grams of waste a day—that's more than 3,000 tonnes in all. Jeremy White, Wired, 31 May 2021 At many vacation rentals, the average length of stay is now one to two weeks. Rachel King, Fortune, 31 May 2021 Western states such as California, Washington and Nevada have some of the highest average gas prices, but drivers in states such as Illinois, Hawaii and Alaska also are getting pinched at the pump. Author: Timothy Bella, Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That's right — despite a few dominant offensive periods, the Wild couldn't average two goals per game. Star Tribune, 29 May 2021 And as Woods said, that team mentality trickles down from its captains — whom average around four steals per game. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 The Lowes say site rental costs average about $600 a month. Mary Jacobs, Dallas News, 25 May 2021 Rainfall amounts are variable but should average between 0.1 and 0.25 inches. Washington Post, 24 May 2021 The coldest month is January, with low temperatures that hover in the upper 30s, although the highs average around 60 °F. Jennifer Prince, Southern Living, 23 May 2021 While the other three pitchers average 9.6 saves this season, Antone has only two saves. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 22 May 2021 According to JetNet IQ, privately private aircraft average less than one flight hour per day. Doug Gollan, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Around 13,200 Connecticut residents have unclaimed tax refunds from 2017, that average just over $800, the IRS said Monday afternoon. Jessika Harkay, courant.com, 5 Apr. 2021

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

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 13 Jun. 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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