\ 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 But the real test will be Washington’s ability to steer the rest of the world toward cleaner energy fast enough to avert catastrophe. New York Times, 23 Apr. 2021 There’s still time for China to avert climate catastrophe: By December, more detailed regional and sector-specific five-year plans are due, as well as a new statement of commitments under the Paris Agreement. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 5 Mar. 2021 The signature furlough scheme meant to avert layoffs will continue at least until September at an additional cost of £6.9 billion. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2021 The failure to equitably allocate resources meant to avert health crises is evident in a large body of research. Casey Ross @caseymross, STAT, 13 Oct. 2020 But what can the international community do to avert further authoritarian ascendance and deescalate the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia? Michelle Gulino And Malaak Jamal, CNN, 25 May 2021 BlueDot is helping avert disruptive epidemics and pandemics with their technology. Mark Minevich, Forbes, 24 May 2021 April 21 was the sixtieth anniversary, to the day, of a failed putsch in 1961, when generals stationed in Algeria staged a coup attempt to avert France’s withdrawal from one of its last colonial footholds. Harrison Stetler, The New Republic, 24 May 2021 But by late September, analysts said Maryland had enough cash to avert the cuts. Washington Post, 19 May 2021

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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Learn More About avert

Time Traveler for avert

Time Traveler

The first known use of avert was circa 1563

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Statistics for avert

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Avert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avert. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avert

Nglish: Translation of avert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avert for Arabic Speakers


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