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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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

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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 Covid-19 cases are surging in 49 states with the average of new cases at least 10% higher than a week ago -- and 38 states are seeing at least a 50% increase, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 16 July 2021 River Hill was the best hitting team in the county with an average of 7.7 runs per game, and Atholton was the last Howard County squad standing as the runner-up in the Class 3A state playoffs. Jacob Calvin Meyer, baltimoresun.com, 15 July 2021 Demand for vaccines has also been slowing, while daily infections in the U.S. have doubled in the past few weeks, with an average of roughly 24,000 cases per day. NBC News, 15 July 2021 The rate of inflation the median consumer expects five to 10 years from now hit 2.8% in June, up slightly from last year but in line with the average for the last 20 years, according to the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. Gwynn Guilford, WSJ, 13 July 2021 Now the old ratings order has been restored: Fox News finished far ahead of its main rivals, CNN and MSNBC, with an average of nearly 2.2 million viewers during prime time in the second quarter of 2021, according to Nielsen. New York Times, 11 July 2021 Fox News ranked second behind NBA playoff home TNT in prime-time with an average of 2.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, 8 July 2021 The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is the second largest in the country, with an average of nearly 200 events annually. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 6 July 2021 The product has over 2,500 reviews with an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Angela Cheung, Popular Mechanics, 30 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The average number of hospitalizations and deaths has also increased in the past seven days, rising roughly 36% and 26%, respectively, per the CDC. Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, 17 July 2021 By comparison, the historic average number of deaths from gunshots, car crashes and complications from the flu add up to 306 a day. Arkansas Online, 17 July 2021 This has led to a higher than average number of fires in the region so far this year. NBC News, 16 July 2021 This week, the average number of new cases climbed above 30,000 per day for the first time since January. New York Times, 16 July 2021 The average number of daily doses was 21,217 for the week ending Friday, down from 41,150 for the week ending July 1, a nearly 50% drop. Joe Mahr, chicagotribune.com, 16 July 2021 The average number of new COVID-19 hospital admissions has also increased dramatically -- to nearly 2,800 admissions a day -- up by 35.8% in the last week. Arielle Mitropoulos, ABC News, 16 July 2021 The number of retail-trading clients at Morgan Stanley increased 3% over the course of the second quarter to 7.4 million and the average daily number of retail trades the company handled for the quarter exceeded 1 million. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, 15 July 2021 The average number of daily cases is rising in 46 states. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, 14 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hopper, a travel app that predicts airline prices, projects airfare summer airfare to average about $283 for domestic airfare, up 35% from the summer of 2020 but down 4% from 2019. Jennifer Alsever, Fortune, 3 July 2021 In today’s environment, in order to achieve a similar result over the next six years, the US GDP would need to average between 18-24% per annum – a pretty big reach of us. Pamela Rosenau, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Think about it: To beat Pete, someone would need to average 213 hits a year for 20 years. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 14 Apr. 2021 The 1927-28 squad had a worse record (7-34-3, .193) but the third team in franchise history deserves special recognition as the only team in NHL history to fail to average a goal a game, scoring just 33 times in 44 contests. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, 2 Apr. 2021 Consumer price gains in the euro area are now expected to average 1.9% this year instead of the 1.7% previously seen. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 7 July 2021 On March 27 Ayton broke Alvan Adams' record for most double-doubles in franchise history and became the third NBA rookie in the last 10 years to average a double-double, joining Blake Griffin and Karl-Anthony Towns. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 6 July 2021 New York City spot electricity prices climbed 54% to average $91.79 a megawatt-hour as of 2:25 p.m., according to data compiled by Wood Mackenzie. BostonGlobe.com, 30 June 2021 Castro hopes to average 35 miles a day and arrive in Brownville on Aug. 11. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 June 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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Dictionary Entries Near average



average agreement

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Statistics for average

Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 27 Jul. 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.

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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