1

average

noun av·er·age \ ˈa-v(ə-)rij \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of average

1 a : a single value (such as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values
b : mean 1b
2 a : 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]

Examples of average in a Sentence

  1. The average of 16, 8, and 6 is 10.

  2. Take all these temperatures and find their average.

  3. An average of 2,000 people attended the show each night.

  4. Prices have increased on average about eight percent.

  5. On average, women live longer than men.

  6. His work has been above the average.

Recent Examples of average from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of average

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


2

average

adjective

Definition of average

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

averagely

adverb

averageness

noun

Examples of average in a Sentence

  1. Take all these temperatures and find their average temperature.

  2. The investment had a higher average return.

  3. The average age of the company's employees is 36.

  4. The average woman lives longer than the average man.

  5. Do you know what the average person earns?

  6. the average American family buyer

  7. Sales were about average for the industry on the whole.

  8. Average grades are not good enough to get you into graduate school.

  9. She was an average student.

  10. She thought the performance was just average.

Recent Examples of average from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of average

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


3

average

verb

Definition of average

averaged; averaging
intransitive verb
1 a : 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)
3 a : 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

Examples of average in a Sentence

  1. The teacher averaged the students' grades.

  2. What figure do you get when you average the amount of rainfall for the last three months?

Recent Examples of average from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of average



AVERAGE Defined for English Language Learners

average

noun

Definition of average for English Language Learners

  • : 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


average

adjective

Definition of average for English Language Learners

  • : calculated by adding quantities together and then dividing by the number of quantities

  • : ordinary or usual

  • : not unusually large or small


average

verb

Definition of average for English Language Learners

  • : to have (a specified number) as an average

  • : to calculate the average of (something)


AVERAGE Defined for Kids

1

average

noun av·er·age \ ˈa-və-rij , ˈav-rij \

Definition of average for Students

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.

2

average

adjective

Definition of average for Students

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

3

average

verb

Definition of average for Students

averaged; averaging
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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