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[uh-veyl] /əˈveɪl/
verb (used with object)
to be of use or value to; profit; advantage:
All our efforts availed us little in trying to effect a change.
verb (used without object)
to be of use; have force or efficacy; serve; help:
His strength did not avail against the hostile onslaught.
to be of value or profit.
advantage; use; efficacy; effective use in the achievement of a goal or objective:
His belated help will be of little or no avail.
avails, Archaic. profits or proceeds.
avail oneself of, to use to one's advantage:
They availed themselves of the opportunity to hear a free concert.
Origin of avail
1250-1300; Middle English availe, equivalent to a- a-2 + vaile < Old French vail- (stem of valoir) < Latin valēre to be of worth
Related forms
availingly, adverb
unavailed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for availed
Historical Examples
  • The possession of raw squashes would have availed us little.

    The Believing Years Edmund Lester Pearson
  • No entreaties nor cajoleries at first availed to make them leave their refuge.

    The Story of Rouen Sir Theodore Andrea Cook
  • But of this expedient she availed herself rather less than any of her forerunners.

  • The reptile was now beyond my reach, but its destruction would not have availed me.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • There lay the scheming, busy head, but what availed all its calculations and its cunning now!

    The Cock and Anchor Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • He wanted a little rest and availed himself of this opportunity.

    Between the Lines Henry Bascom Smith
  • We also availed ourselves of this good opportunity to determine our position and check our compasses; they proved to be correct.

  • Yet it availed not, for the men of Abi were a multitude, and the royal guard but very few.

    Morning Star H. Rider Haggard
  • I availed myself of this time to look about the town and its environs.

  • And he availed himself to the full of his new opportunities.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
British Dictionary definitions for availed


to be of use, advantage, profit, or assistance (to)
avail oneself of, to make use of to one's advantage
use or advantage (esp in the phrases of no avail, to little avail)
Derived Forms
availingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13 availen, from vailen, from Old French valoir, from Latin valēre to be strong, prevail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for availed



c.1300, availen, apparently a French compound formed in English from Old French a- "to" (see ad-) + vailen "to avail," from vaill-, present stem of valoir "be worth," from Latin valere (see valiant). Related: Availed; availing. As a noun, from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with availed


In addition to the idiom beginning with avail also see: to no avail
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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