av·​er·​age | \ ˈa-v(ə-)rij \

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

That compares with a peak average of about 1.1 million barrels in October 2014. ... Paul Ziobro, WSJ, "Oil Trains Make Comeback as Pipeline Bottlenecks Worsen," 31 Jan. 2019 Like any neurons, these take a weighted average of their inputs and then apply an activation function. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How computers got shockingly good at recognizing images," 18 Dec. 2018 What's more, some nail techs rent their own booths from salons (similar to hair stylists), which costs a national average of $445.36 a month. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "What No One Tells You About Tipping at the Nail Salon," 12 Dec. 2018 That report estimated a 20-market average of $19.35 per hour before expenses — $5 more per hour than Ridester’s poll, which uses a nationwide median and only covers UberX drivers. Rani Molla, Recode, "Half of U.S. Uber drivers make less than $10 an hour after vehicle expenses, according to a new study," 2 Oct. 2018 Compare that lack of production with the season Machado is putting together: a career-best .957 OPS with a .316 batting average, 23 home runs and 64 runs batted in. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers looking to go big with Manny Machado, who is an absolutely perfect fit," 13 July 2018 Through 47 1/3 innings, Patiño has struck out 54, walked 14 and held opposing hitters to a .224 average. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Luis Patiño continues breakout with Fort Wayne," 12 July 2018 By Brian Gosset Keller's Alexa Langeliers was named a MaxPreps freshman All-American after leading the Indians with a .522 batting average, third best in program history. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Two Fort Worth-area softball stars named MaxPreps Underclassmen All-Americans," 12 July 2018 Gei, who is the only Steam player in the starting lineup, is the team’s leading hitter with a .373 batting average (as of July 11). Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Six Cincinnati Steam players recognized as All-Stars," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The first tax-filing season under the new tax law got off to a slower start than last year and filers so far are seeing smaller average refunds, according to early Internal Revenue Service data released Friday. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Early Data Show Slower Start to Tax Season," 8 Feb. 2019 For average folks, investing in cryptocurrencies means putting your faith (and your money) in an intermediary, usually an exchange company in the form of an app like Coinbase. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Crypto Exchange Founder's Untimely Death Leaves $190 Million Locked Away in Limbo," 4 Feb. 2019 The average weight loss was 48 pounds, Terry says, and 98% of people were satisfied with the changes from their baseline. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About the Dubrow Diet," 29 Jan. 2019 By 1978, annual expenses on its funds had fallen below the industry average; a decade later, Vanguard’s funds were half as expensive as the average fund. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "What Drove Jack Bogle to Upend Investing," 18 Jan. 2019 The average American derives no economic benefit whatsoever from arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and bears at least a minor cost from living in a world where foreign governments are getting the green light to murder American residents. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There’s nothing “America First” about Trump’s Saudi policy," 21 Nov. 2018 The average employee makes six figures, the type of salary that allows people to bid up home prices and afford fancy new apartments. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Will Amazon’s HQ2 sink Seattle’s housing market?," 13 Nov. 2018 Well, if everyone has to be paid above average, then the average just keeps moving up. Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 In an ideal engine, these fluctuations hit infinity as the average delivered power hits zero, which is where the average efficiency reaches the Carnot efficiency. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsed engines provide high efficiency, output power, low fluctuations," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

James is our celebrity sommelier, the Orson Welles of his time—if Orson Welles had been averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists, instead of bugging people at dinner parties about Paul Masson. Jason Gay, WSJ, "I Won’t Whine About LeBron’s Wine," 3 Jan. 2019 Anthony, 34, averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds and hit a career-high 169 three pointers for the Thunder last season. Barry Jackson, miamiherald, "ESPN analyst explains why Miami is the best fit for Carmelo Anthony," 12 July 2018 Scott, who turns 30 this week, averaged 8.8 points per game last season and shot 52.7% from the field. Broderick Turner, latimes.com, "Mike Scott is glad to get the opportunity to play for Clippers coach Doc Rivers," 11 July 2018 The Wildcats averaged 35 points and 307 yards rushing per game last season, and were led by 2020 RB Kaedric Cobbs (1,362 yards, 25 TDs) and 2019 DB Cade Ford (32 tackles, 3 INT, 6 pass deflections). Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Best of the best: DFW's Top 5 games to watch in 2018," 7 July 2018 The report reported 56,282 students enrolled in the district, and that for the last five years, student enrollment growth has averaged 1.25 percent annually. Jaimy Jones, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena ISD OKs pay raise for teachers," 7 July 2018 Montgomery, an all-conference selection, averaged 4.9 rebounds and added 137 assists and 82 steals in his 27 games last season. Paul Johnson, Elgin Courier-News, "Drake's stake: Montgomery looks to be a senior leader at point guard for South Elgin boys basketball," 30 June 2018 Hepa's team, which is averaging 112 point a game, is considered a lock for a medal. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "No hoops medal for Hebard, but Hepa keeps racking up big wins," 13 June 2018 Since the start of the playoffs, James has been averaging 34.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 9 assists a game while sinking 54.4 percent of his field-goal attempts. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "LeBron James: The Strange Thrill of a One-Man Show," 6 June 2018

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

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 , 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).


irregularly rounded

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