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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for availed
Historical Examples
  • He was yet speaking when Duncan availed himself of the water.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • I had learned, and I availed myself of the knowledge, that it was born before its time.

    Calderon The Courtier Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Mr. Fairbanks saw his opportunity and availed himself of it.

  • Neither of you two could ever be sure when, or if at all, he availed himself of that access.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport Robert Neilson Stephens
  • That very evening Dr. Carter availed himself of the invitation.

  • No attempt which has ever been made to convert them into slaves, has availed much.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare Alexander Scott Withers
  • He had been permitted to amble and to walk and had availed himself of the permission.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Nothing had availed to crush him, even as nothing ever does avail to crush a man of character.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • Neither insult nor tyranny had availed to force a word or a cry out of him.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • The first morning of his imprisonment in this place he availed himself of the privilege.

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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