\ 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 Disaster was narrowly averted in the first act when sweet, pious Maria (Mary Jo West) almost lost her skirt. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "How former Channel 10 anchor Mary Jo West saved Arizona’s oldest theater company," 4 Dec. 2019 The government eventually claimed that its surrender had, in fact, averted a massacre. The Economist, "Lessons from a shootout in Sinaloa," 24 Oct. 2019 The standoff between city officials and more than 20,000 Chicago teachers and thousands more school support workers had been brewing for months, but many residents had believed a strike would be averted. BostonGlobe.com, "Outside schools across the city, clusters of teachers and supporters — many of them dressed in red — held signs and handed out apple cider and coffee, waving to passing cars and answering questions for parents who walked up.," 18 Oct. 2019 Although a tragedy was averted, such occurrences are not uncommon in the Jharia region of Jharkhand, which produces some of the finest coal in India. Gurvinder Singh, Quartz India, "The coal mining region in India where the ground beneath shakes and belches fire," 4 Oct. 2019 Another rigorous study found that one suicide was averted for approximately every 11 gun removals carried out under Connecticut’s law. Wired, "Extreme-Risk Laws Reduce Gun Violence," 21 Sep. 2019 The union’s top negotiator said in a letter to the company that the strike could have been averted had the company made its latest offer sooner. SFChronicle.com, "Strike idles more than 50 GM factories and warehouses," 16 Sep. 2019 Bankruptcy could still be averted and Barneys is continuing to consider alternatives, the people said. Fortune, "Barneys is Talking With Another Lender for Chapter 11 Turnaround," 5 Aug. 2019 The fact that Senate GOP members have so far been relatively muted in their support for Ratcliffe encourages hope that maybe this disaster-in-waiting might be averted. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The Danger of John Ratcliffe," 30 July 2019

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

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Avert.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/averted. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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