avert

play
verb \ ə-ˈvərt \

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

Examples of avert in a Sentence

  1. He sped up and averted an accident.

  2. The diplomatic talks narrowly averted a war.

  3. an attempt to avert a strike at the plant

Recent Examples of avert from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of avert

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



AVERT Defined for English Language Learners

avert

play
verb

Definition of avert for English Language Learners

  • : to turn (your eyes, gaze, etc.) away or aside

  • : to prevent (something bad) from happening


AVERT Defined for Kids

avert

play
verb \ ə-ˈvərt \

Definition of avert for Students

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

Word Root of avert

The Latin word vertere, meaning “to turn” or “to change,” and its form versus give us the roots vert and vers. Words from the Latin vertere have something to do with turning or changing. Anything versatile, or able to do or be used for many different things, can change its task easily. A vertebra is a bone in the spine that allows an animal to turn its head or body. To avert is to turn away. To divert is to turn aside onto a new path. To revert is to turn back to a former way of being.



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