\ 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

This isn’t even the first book depicting lunar clashes between China and the US this year — David Pedreira’s novel Gunpowder Moon imagines geopolitical pawn pieces maneuvering around one another as the crew of a mining outfit try to avert war. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Red Moon is a novel full of fascinating ideas that never come together," 3 Nov. 2018 The crisis between Merkel’s party and its Bavarian consorts has been averted, but for how long? Chris Cottrell, The Christian Science Monitor, "Immigration deal saves German government, points to European future," 9 July 2018 Thus, a three-game losing streak was averted and the Brewers remained in first place in the NL Central, a game ahead of the idle Cubs. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Given a chance to provide production at shortstop, Brad Miller has made impact for Brewers," 3 July 2018 China's planned duty cuts on consumer goods would bolster its negotiating stance with the U.S. as talks over averting a trade war continue. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Trump threat of auto tariffs provokes sharp responses from U.S. trade partners," 24 May 2018 While Macron proposed a four-point plan to overcome Trump’s objections to the Iranian nuclear accord, Merkel wants to avert a trade war by offering to discuss grievances and get away from public tit-for-tat threats. Patrick Donahue, Bloomberg.com, "At Least Macron Got a Kiss: Now Merkel's Up to Sway Trump," 27 Apr. 2018 The decision comes after President Xi Jinping recently signaled plans to lower import tariffs and ease ownership restrictions in a move widely viewed as a bid to avert a trade war with the U.S. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Tesla, GM, Volkswagen score as China lifts auto ownership restrictions," 17 Apr. 2018 Part of the solution to America’s widening cancer gap may lie with cities Eliminating these disparities would avert one-third of all cancer deaths in this country, according to the American Cancer Society. Julia Belluz, Vox, "We’re making real progress against cancer. But you may not know it if you’re poor.," 8 Jan. 2019 As The Economist went to press UN officials held out hope that a disaster could be averted. The Economist, "The battle begins for Hodeida, Yemen’s lifeline," 14 June 2018

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

18 Mar 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 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

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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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