\ ə-ˈvərt How to pronounce avert (audio) \
averted; averting; averts

Definition of avert

transitive verb

1 : to turn away or aside (the eyes, one's gaze, etc.) in avoidance I found the sight so grotesque that I had to avert my eyes …— John Gregory Dunne
2 : to see coming and ward off : avoid avert disaster

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Examples of avert in a Sentence

He sped up and averted an accident. The diplomatic talks narrowly averted a war. an attempt to avert a strike at the plant
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Recent Examples on the Web

China's stimulus announcement followed Hong Kong's $19 billion stimulus package, unveiled Thursday, designed to avert a recession in the wake of crippling protests. David Goldman, CNN, "Dow futures jump 250 points to cap off a crazy week," 16 Aug. 2019 The move had been telegraphed for several weeks as the retailer sought to avert bankruptcy by finding a partner or buyer. Fortune, "Barneys Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Announces Store Closures," 6 Aug. 2019 Limited exceptions are granted when a business is actively seeking financing to avert a closure. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Luxury grocer Dean & DeLuca leaves behind debts, say employees and vendors," 1 Aug. 2019 The agreement is a victory for pragmatists eager to avert chaos caused by a potential government shutdown, a possible debt crisis, or a freeze to agency budgets — including the massive Pentagon budget — at current levels. Andrew Taylor, chicagotribune.com, "GOP-held Senate faces tough vote ahead on Trump-supported budget bill that would increase debt by $2 trillion," 31 July 2019 Summers has been warning for months that rate cuts are needed to avert economic slowing. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: ‘Inflation is solved’? Don’t bank on it," 28 July 2019 Mnuchin was eager to avert a crisis over the government's debt limit. Andrew Taylor, Anchorage Daily News, "Deal sealed on federal budget, ensuring no shutdown, default," 22 July 2019 Using life-sized models of lions with different colored manes, Packer showed that males avoided the dark-haired models, most likely to avert conflict, while females preferred to be close to them. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Ten Things We’ve Learned About Lions Since Disney’s Original ‘The Lion King’," 19 July 2019 Among other things, police are trying to determine if the CFO, Luciano Siani Pires, who also headed the company’s executive-risk committee, knew enough to have averted the January tragedy in the southeastern town of Brumadinho, which left... Patricia Kowsmann, WSJ, "Police Probe of Dam Collapse in Brazil Focuses on How Much Vale May Have Known About Risks," 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avert.' 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 avert

circa 1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for avert

Middle English, from Middle French avertir, from Latin avertere, from ab- + vertere to turn — more at worth

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Statistics for avert

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avert

The first known use of avert was circa 1563

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More Definitions for avert



English Language Learners Definition of avert

: to turn (your eyes, gaze, etc.) away or aside
: to prevent (something bad) from happening


\ ə-ˈvərt How to pronounce avert (audio) \
averted; averting

Kids Definition of avert

1 : to turn away When asked if he had lied, he averted his eyes.
2 : to keep from happening avert disaster

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More from Merriam-Webster on avert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avert

Spanish Central: Translation of avert

Nglish: Translation of avert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avert for Arabic Speakers

Comments on avert

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


to shake or wave menacingly

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