- to be of use or value to; profit; advantage: All our efforts availed us little in trying to effect a change.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for avail
According to the friend, Brinsley rang his ex-girlfriend, an Air Force reservist named Shaneka Thompson, to no avail.Alleged Cop Killer’s Blood-Soaked Screenplay
December 24, 2014
The left had long tried to resist it through a diverse mix of organizations, devoted to different goals, and all to no avail.The Left’s Answer to ALEC
December 15, 2014
In Germany, sex workers get to avail themselves of the same social-welfare infrastructure as all other German workers.Why It's Time to Legalize Prostitution
August 15, 2014
This woke her husband, who questioned and tried to console her, to no avail.Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death
August 11, 2014
Both have nerve-wracked parents who tell them to sit still every 30 seconds, to no avail.Why Giving Adderall to Toddlers Is So Completely, Utterly Wrong
May 19, 2014
His instinct of sympathy with which he had greeted her at the outset was repelled, and made of no avail.
Now, he was her humble petitioner, but this servility could be of no avail to save him from shame.
Yates was something of a wrestler himself, but his skill was of no avail on this occasion.In the Midst of Alarms
She saw all this mentally; but would it avail anything in actuality?Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
What avail great talents, if they be not devoted to goodness?The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
- 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)
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
Word Origin and History for avail
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with avail
In addition to the idiom beginning with avail
- avail oneself of
- to no avail
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.