\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Some of you have the good sense to avert your gaze when a throat is slashed onscreen, to stay far away from haunted houses and plug your ears to blood-curdling screams. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, 13 July 2021 Condo insurance can be an arcane world to understand, and many condo owners may lack sufficient coverage to avert financial ruin, insurance experts say. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, 9 July 2021 According to the International Energy Agency, developing countries collectively need to spend at least $1 trillion per year on clean energy by 2030 to avert catastrophic levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 9 July 2021 The macabre act will prolong the uncertainty as Haiti tries to avert pandemonium. Ryan C. Berg, CNN, 8 July 2021 Security researchers warned Kaseya about its IT management software in April, but the patches didn't come fast enough to avert last week's disaster. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 8 July 2021 To avert a disaster, do your best to diversify your traffic sources. Valery Kurilov, Forbes, 5 July 2021 The historic invasion by people trying to avert Congress certifying President Joe Biden's victory over former President Donald Trump played out on national television. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, 1 July 2021 Both the novel and the show's first season center on Aziraphale (Sheen) and Crowley (Tennant), an angel and a demon who strike up an unlikely friendship over the centuries and eventually work together to avert the apocalypse. Devan Coggan, EW.com, 29 June 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About avert

Time Traveler for avert

Time Traveler

The first known use of avert was circa 1563

See more words from the same year

Statistics for avert

Last Updated

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Avert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avert. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on avert

Nglish: Translation of avert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avert for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!