\ 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web The key question is whether enough clean energy can be built fast enough to avert climate catastrophe. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2022 That is our best window to avert climate catastrophe. Thomas Catenacci, Fox News, 22 July 2022 As leaders gather in Paris this week for a Transforming Education Pre-Summit, UNICEF is renewing its call for urgent action to avert a generational catastrophe. Maryanne Murray Buechner, Forbes, 1 July 2022 Talking Russia down from the precipice will require something different: the willingness and creativity to compromise to avert catastrophe, however unpleasant the compromise might be. Noah Millman, The Week, 3 Mar. 2022 The historic figure serves as a testament to the sheer scale of need that is required to avert complete humanitarian catastrophe this year. David Miliband, CNN, 20 Jan. 2022 To avert catastrophe, scientists say nations must keep the average global temperature from increasing 1.5 Celsius above preindustrial levels. BostonGlobe.com, 16 Oct. 2021 To avert catastrophe, scientists say nations must keep the average global temperature from increasing 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. New York Times, 15 Oct. 2021 Many environmentalists say the U.N. summit, known as COP26, represents the world's final chance to avert a climate catastrophe. Nick Perry, ajc, 13 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of avert was circa 1563

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Avert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avert. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for avert


\ 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


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