average

noun
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]

average

adjective

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

average

verb
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

Adjective

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

Noun

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

That's more than triple the average recorded four years earlier. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Your Kid Probably Has "Text Neck" — Here's What You Need to Know," 1 Mar. 2019 The problem is in the averages: Danish mothers take 10 months of parental leave; Dads take only one month off. Jillian Weinberger, Vox, "Denmark gives new fathers paid leave. Why do so few take it?," 14 Dec. 2018 By the first month of 2019, it is predicted that much of the West Coast and the Rockies will be warmer-than-average. Cierra Williams, Country Living, "The Weather Channel Predicts a Brutal Winter for Most of the Country," 16 Nov. 2018 Unsurprisingly, all three of Amazon’s headquarter cities are much more expensive than the U.S. average by most measures. Rani Molla, Recode, "How Amazon’s proposed HQ2 and HQ3 locations compare with Seattle and the U.S. overall," 6 Nov. 2018 In short: AmorePacific doesn't grow your average matcha leaves; this is green tea scientifically-designed just for skin care. Vogue, "South Korea’s Jeju Island Has the Best Beaches, Freshest Seafood, and the Makings for the Best Beauty Products Ever—Green Tea," 18 Sep. 2018 During the standard tests, ProtonVPN was able to keep 61.88 percent of the base speed based on an average from five different countries. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "ProtonVPN review: Underground data centers, one-click multi-hop, and more make for a great choice," 4 Sep. 2018 Genetics, health status, and activity level all play a big role in finding happy averages for you, Davis says. Colleen Stinchcombe, Redbook, "What Are Macros, Exactly?," 27 Aug. 2018 Each product in the collection averages about $40, except for the Original Glow Sheet Mask, which is available individually for $6 and in a set of 20 for $79. Marci Robin, Allure, "K-Beauty Retailer Peach & Lily Officially Launches Its In-House Line of Skin Care," 16 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The mower’s price tag of approximately $900 is about twice that of the average residential walk mower, yes. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Cub Cadet CC 600 Is a Walk-Behind Lawn Mower That Means Business," 5 Mar. 2019 Typically though, Rick points out, the average total ends up being between $500 and $800. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "How to Install a Wood-Burning Stove," 28 Feb. 2019 All 30 teams are on pace to average at least 100 points per game this season. Tim Reynolds, The Seattle Times, "The NBA playoff push starts now with All-Star break ending," 20 Feb. 2019 The international community has agreed, most recently in the Paris climate accord, to try to limit the rise in global average temperature to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, with efforts to keep it to 1.5 degrees. David Roberts, Vox, "The case for “conditional optimism” on climate change," 29 Jan. 2019 On average the credit card buyers bid more than twice as much as the cash buyers. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 Saving for the future can seem like a tall order considering that the average American has about $15,000 in credit card debt and doesn’t have the funds to cover a $400 emergency. Ellen Sheng, Marie Claire, "How to Start Investing Money Even If You Don't Have Any," 16 Jan. 2019 At an average surface temperature of 19C (66.2F), the Gulf is cold enough to present a risk of surfer’s ear. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The skulls of ancient pearl divers come with abnormal ear canal bone growths," 28 Dec. 2018 Every year, the average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing, sending massive amounts of textiles to landfills or incinerators and contributing to the emission of hazardous greenhouse gases, which speeds up climate change. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "Your Yoga Pants Are Polluting the Water You Drink," 19 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here’s the same chart but with the data averaged over the past 12 months so there aren’t seasonal swings. Rani Molla, Recode, "SodaStream’s path to its $3.2 billion Pepsi deal," 20 Aug. 2018 At prices averaging $1,300 per ounce, those projections jump to a 26 percent return and a net present value of $239 million. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Interior gold mine gets new life, $100M expansion," 17 June 2018 And fraudsters attempt to trick targets into making sizable payments, with requests averaging $35,500, Agari found. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Feds Bust Dozens of Email Scammers, but Your Inbox Still Isn’t Safe," 12 June 2018 After a first term that saw record economic growth, averaging 9 percent from 2012 to 2016, his second term was roiled by a series of army mutinies and a general strike by civil servants over pension payments. Pauline Bax, Bloomberg.com, "Ivory Coast’s President Suggests He May Run Again, Sparking Concern," 4 June 2018 Dry bags of concrete are readily available at hardware and home improvement stores, costing $5 or less for bags averaging 60 to 90 pounds each. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This Is How Much An Average Concrete Project Will Cost You," 25 Jan. 2019 Queensland, Australia Why: What’s not to like about a place that averages 300 sunny days a year? Christina Pérez, Vogue, "Here’s Where to Travel in 2019," 26 Dec. 2018 The deal is good for travel from January 7 to March 31, when temperatures on the islands average in the 80s. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Days of Deals: U.S. to the Caribbean from $59," 12 Dec. 2018 As measured by the Gallup daily presidential approval tracking poll, Trump has averaged 87 percent job approval from fellow Republicans in his second year in office, up from 83 percent in his first year. Jeremy W. Peters, Anchorage Daily News, "Numb to outrage, Republican voters feel a deepening bond to Trump," 24 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

Noun

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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 Mar 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

average

noun

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

average

adjective

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

average

verb

English Language Learners Definition of average (Entry 3 of 3)

: to have (a specified number) as an average
: to calculate the average of (something)

average

noun
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.

average

adjective

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

average

verb
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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