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 In the 23 games after, his averages dipped to 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and half a steal on 30.8 % overall shooting and 24.2% shooting from behind the arc. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya teased us with a glimpse of the tools to be special," 29 May 2020 My high school and college grade-point averages would confirm my ability to retain non-sports knowledge has its limits. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: After 80 days, covering a live sporting event again was refreshing," 28 May 2020 Pasadena High School’s Bryan Zavala got the Pasadena ISD list under way when his batting average of .560 ranked the senior ninth best in the state. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena ISD players had some of the state’s stronger batting averages," 21 May 2020 On April 16, Carolina officially announced McCaffrey’s $64 million extension through 2025, his $16 million-per-year average the richest ever for a running back. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "How Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey built case for record-setting contract," 15 May 2020 In the two weeks after the South Korean test kits arrived, the state improved its daily average by seventy per cent, to nearly five thousand tests per day. Robert P. Baird, The New Yorker, "How Much Testing Does the U.S. Need to Reopen?," 14 May 2020 Separately, data showed the number of Britons seeking Universal Credit welfare payments is still running at more than double its pre-virus average. Bloomberg.com, "Gilead Opens Treatment to Generics; Jilin Cases: Virus Update," 12 May 2020 The city recorded about 2,800 deaths in April, about three times as many as its historical average for the month. BostonGlobe.com, "Latin America’s outbreaks now rival Europe’s," 12 May 2020 Biden leads in those 12 states by over 5 points and is outperforming his national average by nearly a point. David Faris, TheWeek, "How Trump lost his Electoral College edge to Biden," 12 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The average predatory journal publishes about 50 articles a year, less than half the output of a reliable title, according to Bo-Christer Björk of the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. The Economist, "Garbage in How to spot dodgy academic journals," 30 May 2020 In 2019, average monthly traffic was under 2 million unique visitors. Vildana Hajric, Bloomberg.com, "‘My Head Is About to Explode’: Virus Jargon Is Schooling Traders," 30 May 2020 In 1911, the first Indy 500 took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; the winner was Ray Harroun, who drove a Marmon Wasp for more than 6 1/2 hours at an average speed of 74.6 mph and collected a prize of $10,000. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 30 May 2020 Experts say that the average amount of chlorine in swimming pools will kill COVID-19, assuming the pool is properly maintained. Shauna Stuart | Sstuart@al.com, al, "Great Wolf Lodge Georgia set to reopen in June," 30 May 2020 Factoring in delivery, the average cost per burger in a kit of four is around £7.75 ($9.50)—one pound less than the cheapest burger in its restaurants or on its takeout menu, and cheaper still than a hot burger by delivery. Katie Deighton, WSJ, "Cook-It-Yourself? Restaurants See Future for Meal Kits Postpandemic.," 29 May 2020 In last year’s national championship game, the average size of the starting offensive linemen was 6-4, 325 pounds for Clemson and 6-4, 321 pounds for LSU. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Are offensive linemen at greater risk of COVID-19 complications because of their size?," 29 May 2020 Otherwise, the average Big 12 share would have been more than $40 million for the first time. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "While the Big 12 is optimistic about the season, football’s return may not be enough to make up financial losses," 29 May 2020 The graphic above shows that 30 feet is equivalent to the length of ten average city sidewalk squares, or about 12 to 14 strides. Jenna Fowler, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s ‘30-foot rule': This graphic visualizes when you need to pull on a mask," 29 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For example, the S&P 500 has averaged annual returns of close to 10% over many decades, but that’s a nominal average. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Now’s a good time to focus on Big Pharma dividends," 17 May 2020 Maryland averaged 4,265 tests per day this week, compared with about 4,900 the previous week. Matthew Perrone, Time, "As Parts of the U.S. Reopen, Most States Fall Short of Expert-Approved Coronavirus Testing Levels," 16 May 2020 Maryland averaged 4,265 tests per day this week, compared with about 4,900 the previous week. Matthew Perrone, Brian Witte And Nicky Forster, Houston Chronicle, "Most US states fall short of recommended testing levels," 16 May 2020 The retail price for a gallon of milk averaged $3.27 in April, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Eric Litke, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Payments to dairy farmers drop even as retail milk prices rise," 15 May 2020 Teams averaged 31,256 fans per game before the strike and did not reach that level again for 12 years. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "M.L.B.’s Efforts to Return to the Field Could Take the Game Back to 1994," 15 May 2020 The 6-foot-8 standout averaged a near double-double at 10.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game despite playing in an offense where the guards have been the primary focus offensively. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Former ASU basketball standout Romello White transfers to Mississippi," 15 May 2020 Hardman made the announcement via Twitter and Instagram Wednesday night The 6-foot-5 Hardman averaged 12.1 points per game his sophomore season, shooting 45.9% from the field, 38.5% from the perimeter and 95.7% from the free-throw line. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Princeton shooting guard Bowen Hardman commits to Ohio State," 14 May 2020 Hilton has averaged 69 catches for 1,075 yards and 5.6 touchdowns over his first eight seasons. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "Why the Colts should pay T.Y. Hilton," 14 May 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

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 7 Jun. 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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