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 Data from the National Health Service showed that after falling for nearly two months, the seven-day average of new cases in England and Wales rose 13% for the week ending September 17 over the week before. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 27 Sep. 2022 This is a 50% drop from the seven-day rolling average of 394 recorded one month ago, the data shows. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 27 Sep. 2022 Excluding China, where free-TV has longer legs, Asia-Pacific video revenues grow at a forecast 4% compound average to $98.2 billion, with online video leading at 10.2%, pay-TV at 1.8% growth and free TV contracting by 2.2%. Patrick Frater, Variety, 27 Sep. 2022 In a recent study, Hartford Funds found that from 1973 to 2021, companies that made those quarterly payments furnished annual returns of 9.6% a year, crushing non-payers’ record of 4.79% and beating the overall market average of 8.2%. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2022 The blue-chip average closed down more than 20% from its recent high on Jan. 4. Hannah Miao, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2022 Average prices in South Florida on Monday remained above the state average, as usual because of the higher price of doing business in the region. Ron Hurtibise, Sun Sentinel, 26 Sep. 2022 And the Detroit area isn't where the highest gas price average in the state was found. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 26 Sep. 2022 To highlight a unique ability to rise in the biggest moments, Mitchell’s career scoring average in the regular season is 23.9 points. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 26 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Housing prices have steadily risen in the past decade from an average £168,400 in 2012 to £283,500 today, helped by historically low-interest rates and small down payment requirements. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2022 Fox jumped by 15%, bringing in nearly 4 million viewers on average. Selome Hailu, Variety, 27 Sep. 2022 The data showed that vaccinated people got their periods 0.71 days late, on average, after the first dose of vaccine. Amanda Morris, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Sep. 2022 On average, 1,500 gallons of water per minute are meant to move through the raceways at Williams Creek to maintain healthy water quality standards. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 27 Sep. 2022 That will put an average £10,000 ($10,755) in the pockets of the roughly 600,000 people currently paying the highest rate of tax, or just over 1% of adults, the IFS calculated in a Friday report. Anna Cooban, CNN, 26 Sep. 2022 Michael Wilson, equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, estimates that for every 1% increase in the value of the dollar against a basket of common global currencies, earnings among S&P 500 companies decline on average about 0.5%. Rob Wile, NBC News, 26 Sep. 2022 The average median household income in Puerto Rico is just over $21,000. Time, 20 Sep. 2022 The average American income was essentially flat last year at $70,784, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb RB Christian McCaffrey is the only player in league history to average 50 yards rushing and receiving per game. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2022 The Ravens will face the fourth worst pass defense of 2021, one that allowed opposing quarterbacks to average 7.1 yards per attempt. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 9 Sep. 2022 Metchie was more of the underneath option, catching shorter throws from Bryce Young to average 11.9 yards per catch with a long of 46. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 29 Apr. 2022 According to The New York Times, Lamonica threw for 25 touchdowns and managed to average about 250 passing yards per game in 1968. Natasha Dado, PEOPLE.com, 22 Apr. 2022 Taylor would need to average 187.0 yards per game in his final two contests to reach 2,000 yards. Rob Reischel, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 Texas A&M, the one team that beat Alabama this season, and Florida were the only other teams besides Georgia to average more than three yards per carry against the Tide’s run defense. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 20 Dec. 2021 The Buckeyes couldn’t stop him, couldn’t tackle him and couldn’t match him on an afternoon when OSU’s tailbacks combined to average 3.9 yards per carry. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 28 Nov. 2021 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 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

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 5 Oct. 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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