averted; averting; averts

transitive verb

: 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
: 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 This is admirable, but aren’t there other, more historically significant global disasters that could be averted by the same strategy? Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2023 Tensions remain high, with violence breaking out twice in recent months, and Western countries fear that Russia could try to foment trouble in the Balkans to avert attention from the war in Ukraine. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 23 Nov. 2023 That theme plays out strongly in scenes of citizens hurriedly gathering to discuss plans to avert annihilation. Richard Kuipers, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 Many Israelis have preferred to avert their gaze from the rage at their doorstep. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 The Fifth National Climate Change Assessment, released last week by the White House, underscored that every fraction of a degree of warming added or averted will make a difference. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 The bill that could avert a government shutdown heads to the Senate. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 15 Nov. 2023 Often, many crises could have been mitigated or at least minimized in scale if communicators, within their organizations, were motivated to work on policies that could have averted or contained these crises. Xavier Prabhu, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 The test is whether collisions can be averted, and whether those that occur can be managed more successfully than the months-long spat over the spy balloon — not whether the two countries agree to share symphony orchestras or pandas. Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avert.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of avert was circa 1563

Dictionary Entries Near avert

Cite this Entry

“Avert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avert. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to turn away
avert one's eyes
: to keep from happening
averted an accident

More from Merriam-Webster on avert

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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