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 The university's trademark and licensing program generates an average of more than $12.5 million annually in revenue, which provides funding for university programs and student scholarships, according to the statement from Johnson. Amy Simonson, CNN, 23 June 2022 Nigeria produced an average of 1.42 million barrels per day in May, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Chinedu Asadu, ajc, 23 June 2022 For a slate blue front door, buyers might pay an average of $1,537 more. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 23 June 2022 Surveying more than 30,000 participants, the study found that Americans have an average of more than five hours of free time per day. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 23 June 2022 An average of 17 people die every day while awaiting their turn to receive an organ. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 22 June 2022 Michigan reported 10,681 new COVID-19 cases, an average of 1,780.2 per day, and 69 new deaths over the last six days, according to data released Tuesday by the state health department. Arjun Thakkar, Detroit Free Press, 22 June 2022 Users interact with the robot an average of 20 times per day, according to the company. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 June 2022 The agency said in a report this year that more than 7,000 people had died in the past decade because of earthquakes, an average of 560 a year. New York Times, 22 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Vehicle owners typically have their cars impounded for a 30-day period, with the average fee charged for that period around $1,700, according to Sharki. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 June 2022 The Herschel Novel duffel is another customer favorite, with an average 4.8-star user rating from more than 3,700 reviewers. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 24 June 2022 But a top-notch leading man and stunning musical numbers can only do so much to make up for an overstuffed narrative with pacing issues, a lack of focus and a surprisingly average outing for the usually great Hanks. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 24 June 2022 Prior to the June 1 start to hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted above-average hurricane activity this year. Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel, 24 June 2022 Over the past 18 months, average expectations in the short and long term have been pulled higher, reflecting in part a large increase in people expecting 10% or 20% annual inflation. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, 24 June 2022 After dipping a day earlier, the average daily increase in the state's case count over a rolling seven-day period rose Thursday to 761, its highest level since the week ending Feb. 24. Andy Davis, Arkansas Online, 24 June 2022 The department said chinook counts are well below average too. Olivia Ebertz, Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 But this wasn’t your average pre-concert Q&A or call-and-response game. Ellise Shafer, Variety, 23 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Payments will be based on what each tenant was charged and probably will average $500 to $600 a person. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2022 Refinery inputs for the second and third quarter of this year will average 16.7 million barrels per day, the agency said. Max Zahn, ABC News, 16 June 2022 Yes, Beal has averaged 30 points per game before, but Simons will average about 20 and the other 10 points could be spread around a lineup that is in desperate need of size, not another small guard. oregonlive, 15 June 2022 Early runs for the opposition typically results in a loss, considering the Tigers average an MLB-worst 2.78 runs per game, but in Monday's game, manager A.J. Hinch's offense punched back several times. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 14 June 2022 By August, many analysts believe gas will average $6 a gallon. CBS News, 12 June 2022 Rainfall totals may average just 0.5 to 1.0 inches but amounts could reach 2 to 3 inches in a few areas, falling over a short duration. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 8 June 2022 Back in September 2019, Livingston debuted as the No. 3-ranked prospect in the 247Sports Composite class of 2022 rankings, which average the ratings of the major recruiting services. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 8 June 2022 Goldman Sachs is calling for a more sustained spike, where Brent would average $140 for the entire quarter. Matt Egan, CNN, 7 June 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

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 28 Jun. 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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