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 That also pushed the rolling 7-day average for current daily hospitalizations past 1,000 for the first time, up to 1,039. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, "Rise in coronavirus patients putting strain on Alabama hospitals, healthcare workers," 11 July 2020 Statewide, Kentucky's positivity rate — the rolling average of weekly tests that come back positive for COVID-19 — was 4.9% as of Tuesday. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Beshear hints at new requirements as Kentucky's COVID-19 numbers show 'disturbing' trend," 8 July 2020 The rolling seven-day average of positive tests was 13.5%, according to the health agency. Nicole Cobler, USA TODAY, "Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend," 8 July 2020 The rolling seven-day average of positive tests was 13.5%. oregonlive, "Record coronavirus day Tuesday in Texas: 60 new deaths, 10,000 new cases," 7 July 2020 Statewide, testing increased over the weekend with the rolling seven-day average of new tests hovering around 50,000, the newspaper reported. Fox News, "Texas' coronavirus hospitalizations hit new daily high as total cases top 200,000," 7 July 2020 But with case numbers generally on the upswing, Monday’s new cases raised the rolling seven-day average to a record level of 987. cleveland, "Coronavirus hits home in Ohio General Assembly: Capitol Letter," 7 July 2020 Nationwide, the rolling seven-day average for new cases was 48,361 on Saturday, up 11,740 from a week ago, according to tracking by The Washington Post. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "Coronavirus updates: Trump touts ‘progress’ against coronavirus after another day of record infections," 5 July 2020 The rolling average has also been on a steady upward swing for 10 days. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: June 26-27," 28 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In its annual statistical bulletin released Monday, OPEC said member countries in 2019 exported an average 22.5 million barrels of oil a day, marking a 7.4% decrease from 2018. Pat Minczeski And David Hodari, WSJ, "OPEC Was Under Pressure Even Before Covid-19," 14 July 2020 The overall rainfall total last year was one-third less than average — 22 inches rather than the normal 32 inches. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Drawn-out parched weather sends San Antonio area into Stage 1 water use restrictions," 9 July 2020 Temperatures in the region were up to 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average in June. Zamira Rahim, CNN, "Siberia had its warmest June ever as wildfires raged and carbon dioxide emissions surged," 7 July 2020 Drier-than-average conditions could also start to amplify the heat beyond that. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "July outlook: Summer’s sweatiest month to be even hotter than normal in D.C.," 30 June 2020 Cagle said the 43 precinct’s parks have been busier than average with daily attendance similar to a typical Saturday. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Commissioner Cagle implores Harris County residents to use ‘common sense’ to fight coronavirus," 23 June 2020 Forecasts are pointing toward a hotter-than-average summer. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Summer Weather Won’t Save Us from Coronavirus," 19 June 2020 Not only do Black people have a higher unemployment rate than average, they are often left out of high-paying jobs, government data show. USA Today, "12 charts show how racial disparities persist across wealth, health, education and beyond," 18 June 2020 Nearly 130 reviewers have given it a higher-than-average 4.7-star rating, praising its soft, pleated pebble leather, lightweight feel and inside pockets, which are perfect for organizing. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "Dooney & Bourke's leather handbags are up to 58% off thanks to this summer sale," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Analysts are anticipating the S&P 500 Financial sector will average a 51.5% decline in earnings per share in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to FactSet. Benzinga, Detroit Free Press, "Tech stocks nudge S&P 500 while Nasdaq soars," 11 July 2020 High temps will climb to about 81 degrees, closer to average for this time of year. oregonlive, "Portland metro Thursday weather: Mostly cloudy, slight chance of afternoon showers," 9 July 2020 The Village Medical at Walgreens clinics will average about 3,300 square feet, though some will be as big as 9,000. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Walgreens to open 500 to 700 in-store clinics with primary care doctors in deal with VillageMD," 9 July 2020 Oil prices will average $50 per barrel in 2021, not much higher than the low $40s of today, the Energy Information Administration projected Tuesday in its Short-Term Energy Outlook. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Why the largest producer of zero-carbon electricity hasn’t set a 2050 goal," 8 July 2020 According to the developer's proposal at the time, Amstar/McKinley LLC planned to build a $36 million, 19-story tower, with 211 furnished micro-unit apartments which would average about 400 square feet of living space. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix gave illegal tax break to developer of downtown apartment complex, judge rules," 25 June 2020 Moneyhouse used to average 50 to 60 reverse mortgage loans a month, with spikes up to 120. USA Today, "Hurricane fallout creates financial ruin for Puerto Rico's seniors with reverse mortgages," 2 July 2020 Adult female humpbacks average about 49 feet in length and weigh around 35 tons, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game. CBS News, "3 family members injured when boat collides with humpback whale in Alaska," 1 July 2020 Then, average out the price using the start date and end date to get your ‘original’ price. Nathan Bachrach And Amy Wagner, The Enquirer, "Allworth Advice: Financial must-dos for independent contractors," 30 June 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

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for average


How to pronounce average (audio)

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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