\ 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

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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 The politics that this state of affairs calls for—working to make certain that one party defeats another throughout a series of legitimate elections, in order to avert catastrophe—is a novel one. Joseph O’neill, The New York Review of Books, "Save the Party, Save the World," 3 Aug. 2020 To avert a pandemic, affected nations must alert their neighbors quickly. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "How the Pandemic Defeated America," 3 Aug. 2020 His stonewalling tactics could be sanctioned by themselves, but the delays may have helped avert more serious problems for Schweikert, the committee wrote. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, "In deal, Rep. David Schweikert admits 11 ethics violations, to pay $50,000 fine," 30 July 2020 Some critics have said Treasury’s interventions amount to a large corporate bailout for undeserving firms, while others have argued the money should be more swiftly distributed with fewer conditions to avert rising unemployment. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, "In unusual deal, U.S. Treasury to acquire 30 percent of trucking company in exchange for $700 million loan," 1 July 2020 Bankers deserve credit for working to avert disaster on Main Street in the course of COVID-19 relief efforts. Stephen Scott, Fortune, "The coronavirus crisis is increasing the risk of bank fraud. Here’s how banks can play defense," 7 July 2020 Both Egypt and Sudan have appealed to the U.N. Security Council to intervene in the years-long dispute and help the countries avert a crisis. Washington Post, "Ethiopia says set to begin filling disputed dam in 2 weeks," 27 June 2020 The reopenings didn’t come soon enough to avert a bankruptcy filing,... Soma Biswas And Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Chuck E. Cheese, Home of Kids’ Pizza Parties, Undone by Covid-19," 25 June 2020 To avert mass starvation, officials distributed flour, sugar, and lard, which people cooked into bread. Padma Lakshmi, Time, "The Food World Needs to Listen to the Real Cultural Experts, Not Just Use Their Ingredients," 24 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for avert

Time Traveler

The first known use of avert was circa 1563

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Statistics for avert

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Avert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avert. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for avert


How to pronounce avert (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on avert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avert

Spanish Central: Translation of avert

Nglish: Translation of avert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avert for Arabic Speakers

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