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

norm, normal, par, standard

Synonyms: Adjective

intermediate, mean, median, medium, middle, middling, midsize (also midsized), moderate, modest

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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


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.


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.


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

The average of 40 new model launches per year from 2000-19 for the industry is slated to jump to 62 per year from 2020-23, according to an annual report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Eric D. Lawrence, USA TODAY, "Ford's 2020 Explorer and Escape expected to lead explosion of new car models," 13 June 2019 Queen Creek pays its teachers an average salary of $50,898, nearly 17 percent more than the $43,368 average at San Tan, records show. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Arizona charter school operators agree to pay back $180K spent on sports tickets, personal care," 13 June 2019 The second baseman has a .900 OPS, .284 batting average and 14 homers in 62 games at Class AAA New Orleans. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One of the prospects in the Christian Yelich trade had a dazzling debut for the Marlins, shutting out the Cardinals," 13 June 2019 Darius Garland, 6-2, freshman, Vanderbilt: An impressive score-first point guard with a knockdown pull-up jumper and above-average ballhandling. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "NBA draft preview: Do the Heat have a shot at point guard?," 13 June 2019 The board averages about six investigations a year. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Report finds sweeping blame and negligence for fatal Oklahoma rig explosion," 12 June 2019 True, American firms hired only 75,000 workers in May, on first estimate, well below the recent monthly average. The Economist, "The market believes the Fed will cut rates by September. Should it?," 12 June 2019 The Raiders used a fifth-round draft pick last year on Townsend, who struggled as a rookie — ranking 30th in net punting average (38.3 yards per attempt) and pinning opponents inside their 20-yard line on 17 of his 70 punts. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders expect competition at punter, long snapper," 12 June 2019 Number of injuries: 27 With 27 injuries last season, the Hammers fall below the average of 30 and finish sixth overall. SI.com, "Premier League: How Many Injuries Each Club Suffered During the 2018/19 Season," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Adjusted for inflation, average wages for U.S. workers have not increased since 1978. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Can Elizabeth Warren Win It All?," 14 June 2019 The World Wide Fund for Nature's Living Planet report revealed that in a little over 40 years — less than an average single lifetime — global wildlife populations have declined by 60%. CNN, "We're failing the world's oceans. Businesses can help save them," 14 June 2019 Specific points that were analyzed in the study included the number of programs offered through distance education, total enrollment in the 25-64 age range and average in-state tuition. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "UHD named as one of ‘20 Best Online Programs for Adults Going Back to School’," 14 June 2019 Last year, county rivers set a record by going above flood stage during six separate storm events, which was triple the average number of flood events that went above flood stage in Lake County over the previous 10 years. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Increased, more frequent rain in Lake County topic of upcoming public stormwater commission meetings," 14 June 2019 By definition, half of the students are below average in intelligence and are not candidates for college. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Your Say: How can we improve public education?," 14 June 2019 Hedrick says that in 2018, the average American farmer lost about $60 per acre before subsidies, and made just $20 per acre after federal subsidies. Laura Reiley, BostonGlobe.com, "A Boston company’s plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it.," 13 June 2019 What researchers are confident saying, however, is that the Great Lakes region has experienced an increase in both average temperature and rainfall and snowfall amounts over the past few decades. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's climate: Models project 30% increase in rain and snow, plus rising temps," 13 June 2019 Another study of 22 patients found an average 15% increase in abdominal muscle thickness two months post-treatment. Samantha Lauriello, Health.com, "What Is Emsculpt, and Will It Really Give Me Tighter Abs and a Rounder Butt?," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the 35 days after Steven Avery’s case premiered on Netflix, each episode averaged 19.3 million viewers. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Time of True Crime," 26 Apr. 2019 After peaking at an average of 6.16 million in January, Steam averaged just 4.53 million in-game users in July, a nearly 26-percent drop. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Steam sees surprising, significant usage dip in 2018," 1 Aug. 2018 Back in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, Portage’s Buster Battreall averaged 15 points per game and earned a spot on the boys basketball all-area team. Johnny Gorches, Post-Tribune, "'I'm so lucky and blessed': Portage's Buster Battreall gives up basketball, becomes nationally known with Ford Models," 14 July 2018 Despite wearing modestly sized Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires—that, yes, are branded with BMW's star (★) designation—the Supra averaged a heroic 1.07 g on the skidpad. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "We Test the 2020 Toyota Supra: Zero to 60 in 3.8 Seconds," 14 May 2019 Capuano's agency forecast that U.S. crude output will average 10.8 million barrels a day for all of 2018 and 11.8 million barrels a day in 2019, up from 9.4 million in 2017. David Koenig, Anchorage Daily News, "US soon to leapfrog Saudis, Russia as top oil producer," 12 July 2018 Meanwhile the drop in the number of people playing has forced clubs to raise their membership fees, which now average £480 ($635) a year. The Economist, "How women and children might save golf in Scotland," 5 July 2018 Crapo's office said the payments averaged to just less than $15,000 a year for 14 years. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "$192,000 for his wife. 81 uses of a lobbyist's home. Crapo election funds draw scrutiny," 20 June 2018 The Post noted that in his first 100 days in office, Trump averaged less than five false claims a day. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Has Delivered Over 10,000 False or Misleading Claims as President," 29 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for average

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for average

The first known use of average was in 1746

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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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Comments on average

What made you want to look up average? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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