\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

So while the crisis was averted, savers and consumers should go ahead and test their emergency resolves and reserves. Chuck Jaffe, The Seattle Times, "Shutdown a reminder to test surviving without a paycheck," 27 Jan. 2018 Teenage boys normally greet serious material with cynical mockery; Threads got ashen-faced, nauseated silence, and an overwhelming sense of relief that the threat of global thermonuclear war was largely averted. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Sleep no more: Threads is coming to Blu-ray," 25 Jan. 2018 What are the chances that a shutdown can be averted? Lauren Morello, Scientific American, "What a U.S. Government Shutdown Would Mean for Science," 18 Jan. 2018 Like Future Man, people are sent back in time (from the future to the present day) to help avert a future crisis. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Altered what? Netflix already has a great sci-fi series—Hulu does, too," 1 Feb. 2018 House Funding to avert shutdown: The House on Jan. 18 voted, 230-197, to fund the government from Jan. 20 through Feb. 16 while renewing the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. Thomas Voting Reports, The Seattle Times, "How Your U.S. Lawmaker Voted," 20 Jan. 2018 Traders also kept tabs on Washington, where Republicans and Democrats scrambled to avert a possible federal government shutdown before a midnight Friday deadline. Alex Veiga, Houston Chronicle, "Industrials, energy weigh down markets," 18 Jan. 2018 Meanwhile, efforts to avert what the United Nations warned could become a humanitarian catastrophe failed on Saturday when rebel representatives walked out of negotiations with a Russian delegation. Nabih Bulos, latimes.com, "More than 160,000 displaced as violence in southern Syria continues," 30 June 2018 Get our daily newsletter The days before the offensive saw frantic efforts to avert it. The Economist, "The battle begins for Hodeida, Yemen’s lifeline," 14 June 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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Statistics for avert

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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 \
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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playful or foolish behavior

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