av·​er·​age | \ ˈa-v(ə-)rij How to pronounce average (audio) \

Definition of average

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a single value (such as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values
2a : an estimation of or approximation to an arithmetic mean
b : a level (as of intelligence) typical of a group, class, or series above the average
3 : a ratio expressing the average performance especially of an athletic team or an athlete computed according to the number of opportunities for successful performance a batting average
on average or on the average
: taking the typical example of the group under consideration Prices have increased on average by five percent. [=the average increase has been five percent]



Definition of average (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : equaling an arithmetic mean
2a : being about midway between extremes a man of average height
b : not out of the ordinary : common on an average day the average person


averaged; averaging

Definition of average (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to be or come to an average The gain averaged out to 20 percent.
b : to have a medial value of a color averaging a pale purple
2 : to buy on a falling market or sell on a rising market additional shares or commodities so as to obtain a more favorable average price usually used with down or up

transitive verb

1 : to do, get, or have on the average or as an average sum or quantity averages 12 hours of work a day
2 : to find the arithmetic mean of (a series of unequal quantities)
3a : to bring toward the average
b : to divide among a number according to a size, number, or amount that is directly related to or appropriate for something average a loss

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Other Words from average


averagely adverb
averageness noun

Synonyms for average

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for average


average, mean, median, norm mean something that represents a middle point. average is the quotient obtained by dividing the sum total of a set of figures by the number of figures. scored an average of 85 on tests mean may be the simple average or it may represent value midway between two extremes. a high of 70° and a low of 50° give a mean of 60° median applies to the value that represents the point at which there are as many instances above as there are below. average of a group of persons earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 dollars an hour is 6 dollars, whereas the median is 5 dollars norm means the average of performance of a significantly large group, class, or grade. scores about the norm for fifth grade arithmetic

Did You Know?

The word average came into English from Middle French avarie, a derivative of an Arabic word meaning “damaged merchandise.” Avarie originally meant damage sustained by a ship or its cargo, but came to mean the expenses of such damage. When the English borrowed the word, they altered it to conform to the pattern of words ending in -age. When a ship or its cargo was damaged at sea, the owners or insurers shared the expense, or average. An average-adjuster determined a division of costs among them. An average then became any equal distribution or division, like the determination of an arithmetic mean. Soon the arithmetic mean itself was called an average. Now the word may be applied to any mean or middle value or level.

Examples of average in a Sentence

Noun The average of 16, 8, and 6 is 10. Take all these temperatures and find their average. An average of 2,000 people attended the show each night. Prices have increased on average about eight percent. On average, women live longer than men. His work has been above the average. Adjective Take all these temperatures and find their average temperature. The investment had a higher average return. The average age of the company's employees is 36. The average woman lives longer than the average man. Do you know what the average person earns? the average American family buyer Sales were about average for the industry on the whole. Average grades are not good enough to get you into graduate school. She was an average student. She thought the performance was just average. Verb The teacher averaged the students' grades. What figure do you get when you average the amount of rainfall for the last three months?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Over the last week, the state has reported an average of 63,637 vaccine doses daily, according to health data. Alex Mann, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland adds 1,196 new COVID cases; 1.8 million now fully vaccinated," 24 Apr. 2021 And the taxpayers who managed to get through have waited on hold an average of 20 minutes. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Many taxpayers feel like 'return has fallen into a black hole'," 23 Apr. 2021 Police apprehension dogs are specially bred and trained to pursue and bite suspects who run or resist, sending an average of 3,600 people to emergency rooms nationwide every year. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, "Alabama police dog bites man accused of shoplifting at Walmart. Doctors perform 5 surgeries to save his arm.," 23 Apr. 2021 Overdoses killed an average of about 16 people a week in San Francisco the first three months of this year. New York Times, "San Francisco Contends With a Different Sort of Epidemic: Drug Deaths," 23 Apr. 2021 With Bugatti’s run two years in the rearview mirror at this point, and SSC North America’s 1,750 hp SSC Tuatara officially clocking the average of two runs at 282.9 mph, having a production car eclipse 300 mph seems imminent. Manuel Carrillo Iii, Robb Report, "Watch Hennessey’s Venom F5 Strike 200 MPH Using Only Half Its Power," 22 Apr. 2021 Forests themselves can absorb up to about 18 billion tons of CO2 a year, according to a study by the nonprofit World Resources Institute, while deforested areas can release an average of about 9 billion tons. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin DNR to distribute 4.7 million seedlings this year in effort to help reforestation, fight climate change," 22 Apr. 2021 The picture is staggeringly different from early February, when India was recording an average of just 11,000 cases a day, and domestic drug companies were pumping out millions of vaccine doses. Shashank Bengali, Star Tribune, "India sets new global case record," 22 Apr. 2021 Napolitano found that the typical car owner spends an average of $700 a month to maintain their vehicle and keep it operational on the streets. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, "This Phoenix e-bike company wants to eliminate 100 million car rides in 5 years," 22 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But so, too, did the threat posed by the running game, which was largely absent last season when the Spartans rushed for their lowest total, on average, since records have been kept by the program. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Mel Tucker's ambitions for Michigan State football on full display in final spring practice," 25 Apr. 2021 Now, on average, in states President Biden won, 59% of people believe humans cause global warming. NBC News, "Meet the Press - April 25, 2021," 25 Apr. 2021 Only Keenan Allen caught the ball more on average in 2020. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers hoping to get the most out of running back Austin Ekeler," 25 Apr. 2021 Venezuelans cover 63 percent of their health expenditures on average, according to WHO and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data — nearly double the rate in Chile, and more than four times that of Argentina. Washington Post, "In the Venezuelan ‘Workers’ Paradise,’ very different pandemics for the haves and have-nots," 25 Apr. 2021 Chief executives of big companies now make, on average, 320 times as much as their typical worker, according to the Economic Policy Institute. New York Times, "C.E.O. Pay Remains Stratospheric, Even at Companies Battered by Pandemic," 24 Apr. 2021 Women consume, on average, 250 milligrams of cholesterol a day, and men 350 milligrams, according to Lichtenstein. Amanda Schupak, CNN, "What everyone gets wrong about cholesterol in food," 23 Apr. 2021 Neither of those pitches were average in the bat-missing or contact management components. Tony Blengino, Forbes, "Giants’ Kevin Gausman’s Splitter Is One Of MLB’s Filthiest Pitches," 21 Apr. 2021 Marisela and Ely fielded fifteen calls from Central American families on the day of their Costco run, which is about average for them. The New Yorker, "The Grim Compassion of Searching for Missing Migrants in the Desert," 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Micromobility companies and transit advocates have said e-scooters, which average about one mile per trip, replace short car journeys and help people who live more than a short walk from a subway station or bus stop. Paul Berger, WSJ, "New York City Picks E-Scooter Companies for Bronx Rollout," 14 Apr. 2021 Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said that premium savings, which will average $180 per month per household, require no paperwork for those already signed up. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Generous federal recovery subsidies prompt special enrollment push at Covered California," 12 Apr. 2021 White shad, which average 3 to 4 pounds, rarely enter the feeder creeks but stay in the mainstem Susquehanna River until the first week of June. Bill May, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Bill May: Springtime means shad fishing | OUTDOORS COMMENTARY," 10 Apr. 2021 Still, Johnson is on pace to become the first Spurs to average at least 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in his second season since Duncan averaged 21.7 and 11.4 in 1998-99. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Keldon Johnson learning humbling NBA lesson," 3 Apr. 2021 In January 2020, the CBO figured that the 10-year yield would average 2.2% in 2021 and 2.6% in 2022, double the numbers from this February. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "3 ways you’ll feel the pain of the shocking rise in interest rates," 20 Mar. 2021 There are small crumbs of comfort for those railing against what is, ostensibly, a monetized bet: growth in loot box purchases will average 5% per year to 2025, which is a marked slowdown on previous years. Matt Gardner, Forbes, "The Gaming Industry’s Loot Box Problem Is Going To Get Worse," 11 Mar. 2021 Anderson predicts California unemployment will average 7.2% this year, dropping to 5.8% and 5.2% in subsequent years. Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times, "California will recover from the pandemic faster than the U.S., forecast says," 10 Mar. 2021 The Fed adopted a framework last year that calls for inflation to average 2% over time. Christopher Rugaber And Martin Crutsinger, Star Tribune, "Fed stresses its commitment to low rates as economy stumbles," 27 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'average.' 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 average


1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1769, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for average

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

from earlier average proportionally distributed charge for damage at sea, modification of Middle French avarie damage to ship or cargo, from Old Italian avaria, from Arabic ʽawārīya damaged merchandise

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Time Traveler for average

Time Traveler

The first known use of average was in 1746

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Statistics for average

Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Average.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/average. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for average



English Language Learners Definition of average

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a number that is calculated by adding quantities together and then dividing the total by the number of quantities
: a level that is typical of a group, class, or series : a middle point between extremes



English Language Learners Definition of average (Entry 2 of 3)

: calculated by adding quantities together and then dividing by the number of quantities
: ordinary or usual
: not unusually large or small



English Language Learners Definition of average (Entry 3 of 3)

: to have (a specified number) as an average
: to calculate the average of (something)


av·​er·​age | \ ˈa-və-rij How to pronounce average (audio) , ˈav-rij \

Kids Definition of average

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a number that is calculated by adding quantities together and dividing the total by the number of quantities : arithmetic mean An average of 20 students are in each class.
2 : something usual in a group, class, or series His grades have been better than average.



Kids Definition of average (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : equaling or coming close to an average The average age of students in my class is eleven.
2 : being ordinary or usual the average person


averaged; averaging

Kids Definition of average (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to amount to usually We averaged ten miles a day.
2 : to find the average of Our teacher averaged our test scores.

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