\ ə-ˈvərt \
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 questions came during an emergency meeting that MTA Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer called for board members to learn more about the new plan that averts a complete 15-month shutdown of the L train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Paul Berger, WSJ, "MTA Board Members Grill Consultants About Revised L Train Plan," 15 Jan. 2019 To minimize disruption to the timelines, the mastermind of this plan, the Director, uses people who were just about to die as its targets, narrowly averting their deaths (at least most of the time) and allowing a traveler to resume their life. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Get your binge on: Season 3 of sci-fi gem Travelers is out now," 14 Dec. 2018 Raimondo’s pension reform was praised when it was first approved for averting a crisis while not raising taxes. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo should be a shoe-in for reelection. But she’s not.," 11 Sep. 2018 Like many small business owners in Venezuela, the David family had become adroit at averting disaster. Joshua Goodman, Fox News, "Venezuela merchants face arrest for defying Maduro's reforms," 7 Sep. 2018 The deadline to avert the worst effects of the crisis is even sooner than that. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Cities have 15 months to reverse climate change, says new report," 8 Oct. 2018 Thanks to some fast-thinking stage crew, though, a crisis was averted. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Beyonce Keeps Her Cool, Busts a Move After On the Run II Stage Malfunctions in Poland," 2 July 2018 Democratic leaders in both chambers are moving quickly in hopes of having a budget bill in place by the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1 to avert a government shutdown. David Jordan, BostonGlobe.com, "Vermont Senate passes third budget bill of the year," 22 June 2018 Americans and legal protections have quickly evolved to begin averting the worst problems of industrial agriculture. Rachel Clark, Good Housekeeping, "12 Fish You Should Never Eat—And What To Eat Instead," 12 July 2017

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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Statistics for avert

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avert

The first known use of avert was circa 1563

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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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avert

Spanish Central: Translation of avert

Nglish: Translation of avert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avert for Arabic Speakers

Comments on avert

What made you want to look up avert? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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