\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Jayapal said that if the progressive and moderate Democrats don't reach an agreement, the House could avert that deadline by again passing a short-term bill extending the authorization for surface transportation programs. Alex Rogers, Manu Raju And Lauren Fox, CNN, 12 Oct. 2021 The deal lets officials avert what could have been a catastrophic crisis on Oct. 18, when Janet Yellen warned the Treasury would run out of cash. Chris Morris, Fortune, 7 Oct. 2021 Moran, the opposition lawmaker, and other critics argue that moderate measures, such as better ventilation in schools and masks indoors, could avert the need for stringent restrictions this winter. BostonGlobe.com, 26 Sep. 2021 Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said access to evidence by experts could help officials avert similar building disasters by understanding what happened at Champlain Towers South. Curt Anderson, orlandosentinel.com, 4 Aug. 2021 While many do not fully understand public relations and tend to focus solely on the disasters that PR agencies help clients avert or overcome, PR professionals can truly accomplish far more for clients and the public. Warren H. Cohn, Forbes, 10 May 2021 What's happening: US President Joe Biden signed a stopgap funding bill Thursday night to avert a government shutdown. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 1 Oct. 2021 Disagreements between the parties over how to resolve the government funding and debt ceiling issues delayed the approval of legislation to avert a shutdown. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, 30 Sep. 2021 Congress approved funding to avert a shutdown of the federal government. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About avert

Time Traveler for avert

Time Traveler

The first known use of avert was circa 1563

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near avert




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for avert

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Avert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avert. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

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

Nglish: Translation of avert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avert for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!