\ ə-ˈvərt \
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

The brigades are regrouping amid political talks aimed at averting what aid groups warn would be a catastrophe if food and medical supplies can’t move through the port. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "With Much at Stake in Yemen Port, Coalition Puts Advance on Hold," 8 July 2018 Instead of averting his eyes from the chaos, instead of leaning away as one leans away from the smoke of a bonfire, Zhadan sticks his head into the flames. Linda Kinstler, Longreads, "Angrily Experiencing the Best Days of Our Lives," 27 June 2018 One can imagine a rational (nationalist) case for America to accept short-term economic pain for the sake of averting Chinese economic dominance in the long run. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Dow Tumbles 300 Points As Trump Escalates Trade War With China," 19 June 2018 Through May 29, the party and its affiliated super PAC have spent more than $4 million trying to help avert a shut out in those three districts, both by promoting the two candidates and hitting Republicans like Baugh. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "Democrats on edge in California congressional races," 1 June 2018 The White House supported the spending plan, which helped avert potential government shutdowns, only for Trump to threaten to veto it. Jonathan Tamari, Philly.com, "Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Lou Barletta new target of conservative group," 24 May 2018 The cuts were made in hopes of averting — at least temporarily — the closure of the library, which is in dire straits due to a combination of record-low tax collection rates and substantial debt service on a $6 million bond issue. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "Director of cash-strapped Harvey library resigns rather than accept $30K pay cut," 15 May 2018 This individual's thoughtfulness and awareness may have helped avert another tragedy. CBS News, "Patriots' Julian Edelman apparently helps prevent potential Michigan school shooting plot," 4 Apr. 2018 In 2015, the airline averted a pilots strike days before Easter weekend by securing a temporary restraining order from a Las Vegas court. Ron Hurtibise, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Allegiant Air pilots authorize strike over 'sham' work scheduling system," 9 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to avert

avert one's eyes

Statistics for avert

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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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 \
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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Comments on avert

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