[ uh-veyl ]
See synonyms for: availavailedavails on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. 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)
  1. to be of use; have force or efficacy; serve; help: His strength did not avail against the hostile onslaught.

  2. to be of value or profit.

  1. advantage; use; efficacy; effective use in the achievement of a goal or objective: His belated help will be of little or no avail.

  2. avails, Archaic. profits or proceeds.

Idioms about avail

  1. avail oneself of, to use to one's advantage: They availed themselves of the opportunity to hear a free concert.

Origin of avail

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English availe, from a- a-2 + Old French vail-, noun stem of valoir “to be worth,” from Latin valēre “to be strong, be well, be of worth”

Other words from avail

  • a·vail·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·a·vailed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use avail in a sentence

  • Jane was highly gratified by this commendation, and most eagerly availed herself of his most valuable offer.

  • All her scheming and fencing would have availed her nothing if she were to break down at the critical moment.

    Dope | Sax Rohmer
  • Mrs. Prentice told Jess that she could pay for the coal a little at a time, and the girl gladly availed herself of this advantage.

  • The following day being Sunday, we availed ourselves of the opportunity of attending services at the Minster.

  • Comparatively few of them availed themselves of the permission granted by Cyrus, to return to Palestine.

    Gospel Philosophy | J. H. Ward

British Dictionary definitions for avail


/ (əˈveɪl) /

  1. to be of use, advantage, profit, or assistance (to)

  2. avail oneself of to make use of to one's advantage

  1. use or advantage (esp in the phrases of no avail, to little avail)

Origin of avail

C13 availen, from vailen, from Old French valoir, from Latin valēre to be strong, prevail

Derived forms of avail

  • availingly, adverb

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with avail


In addition to the idiom beginning with avail

  • avail oneself of

also see:

  • 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.