View synonyms for average


[ av-er-ij, av-rij ]


  1. a quantity, rating, or the like that represents or approximates an arithmetic mean:

    Her golf average is in the 90s. My average in science has gone from B to C this semester.

  2. a typical amount, rate, degree, etc.; norm.
  3. Statistics. arithmetic mean.
  4. Mathematics. a quantity intermediate to a set of quantities.
  5. Commerce.
    1. a charge paid by the master of a ship for such services as pilotage or towage.
    2. an expense, partial loss, or damage to a ship or cargo.
    3. the incidence of such an expense or loss to the owners or their insurers.
    4. an equitable apportionment among all the interested parties of such an expense or loss. Compare general average, particular average.


  1. of or relating to an average; estimated by average; forming an average:

    The average rainfall there is 180 inches.

  2. typical; common; ordinary:

    The average secretary couldn't handle such a workload. His grades were nothing special, only average.

verb (used with object)

, av·er·aged, av·er·ag·ing.
  1. to find an average value for (a variable quantity); reduce to a mean:

    We averaged the price of milk in five neighborhood stores.

  2. (of a variable quantity) to have as its arithmetic mean:

    Wheat averages 56 pounds to a bushel.

  3. to do or have on the average:

    He averages seven hours of sleep a night.

verb (used without object)

, av·er·aged, av·er·ag·ing.
  1. to have or show an average:

    to average as expected.

verb phrase

  1. to purchase more of a security or commodity at a higher price to take advantage of a contemplated further rise in prices.
    1. to come out of a security or commodity transaction with a profit or without a loss.
    2. to reach an average or other figure:

      His taxes should average out to about a fifth of his income.

  2. to purchase more of a security or commodity at a lower price to reduce the average cost of one's holdings.


/ ˈævrɪdʒ; ˈævərɪdʒ /


  1. the typical or normal amount, quality, degree, etc

    above average in intelligence

  2. Also calledarithmetic mean the result obtained by adding the numbers or quantities in a set and dividing the total by the number of members in the set

    the average of 3, 4, and 8 is 5

  3. (of a continuously variable ratio, such as speed) the quotient of the differences between the initial and final values of the two quantities that make up the ratio

    his average over the journey was 30 miles per hour

  4. maritime law
    1. a loss incurred or damage suffered by a ship or its cargo at sea
    2. the equitable apportionment of such loss among the interested parties
  5. often plural stock exchange a simple or weighted average of the prices of a selected group of securities computed in order to facilitate market comparisons
  6. on average or on the average or on an average
    usually; typically

    on average, he goes twice a week


  1. usual or typical
  2. mediocre or inferior

    his performance was only average

  3. constituting a numerical average

    the average age

    an average speed

  4. approximately typical of a range of values

    the average contents of a matchbox


  1. tr to obtain or estimate a numerical average of
  2. tr to assess the general quality of
  3. tr to perform or receive a typical number of

    to average eight hours' work a day

  4. tr to divide up proportionately

    they averaged the profits among the staff

  5. tr to amount to or be on average

    the children averaged 15 years of age

  6. intr stock exchange to purchase additional securities in a holding whose price has fallen ( average down ) or risen ( average up ) in anticipation of a speculative profit after further increases in price


/ ăvər-ĭj /

  1. A number, especially the arithmetic mean, that is derived from and considered typical or representative of a set of numbers.


  1. A single number that represents a set of numbers. Means , medians , and modes are kinds of averages; usually, however, the term average refers to a mean.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈaverageness, noun
  • ˈaveragely, adverb

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Other Words From

  • aver·age·a·ble adjective
  • aver·age·ly adverb
  • aver·age·ness noun
  • sub·aver·age adjective
  • sub·aver·age·ly adverb
  • super·aver·age adjective
  • super·aver·age·ness noun
  • un·aver·aged adjective
  • under·aver·age adjective
  • well-aver·aged adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of average1

First recorded in 1485–95; earlier averay “charge on goods shipped,” originally, “duty” (with -age replacing -ay ), from Middle French avarie, from Old Italian avaria, of disputed origin; perhaps from Arabic ʿawārīyah “damaged merchandise” (from ʿawār “blemish, fault, flaw”) or akin to Old French aveir, avoir “goods, property” ( avoirdupois ( def ) )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of average1

C15 averay loss arising from damage to ships or cargoes (shared equitably among all concerned, hence the modern sense), from Old Italian avaria, ultimately from Arabic awār damage, blemish

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. on the / an average, usually; typically:

    She can read 50 pages an hour, on the average.

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Example Sentences

That is roughly in line with a Post average of recent polls from the state that put Biden’s advantage at seven points.

FiveThirtyEight’s average of state polls at the end of the 2016 race gave Clinton a five-point lead in Wisconsin and an eight-point lead in Minnesota.

Since the lockout of 2004-05, five cup winners have averaged fewer goals per game.

The Wisconsin poll is consistent with other recent polls in the state, with The Post’s average showing Biden’s margin at seven points, narrower than in midsummer but not much different from what it was immediately after the GOP convention.

That is a somewhat larger margin than a Washington Post average of recent polls in the state, which shows Biden’s lead to be seven percentage points.

Well over a thousand holes in, I average less than four strokes per hole.

On average, the vaccine has an efficacy of about 60 percent.

Average age ranges from 45 to 65, with her youngest client at 18 and the oldest in her 80s.

Ramos was 38—nearly two decades older than the average recruit.

All because Murthy believes that gun violence, which kills an average of 86 Americans every day, is a public health issue.

I do not think the average number of passengers on a corresponding route in our country could be so few as twenty.

Though the average speaker is generally limited by one type of voice, which he varies somewhat, it is not often disguised.

I should judge that a peck of corn is about the average product of a day's work through all this region.

The average citizen of three generations ago was probably not aware that he was an extreme individualist.

He was a pretty bright sort, that same Goodell, quick-witted, nimble of tongue above the average Englishman.


Related Words

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Average Vs. Mean Vs. Median Vs. Mode

What’s the difference between average, mean, median, and mode?

In the context of mathematics and statistics, the word average refers to what’s more formally called the mean, which is the sum of a set of values divided by the number of values. In contrast, the median is the middle number in a set of values when those values are arranged from smallest to largest, while the mode of a set of values is the most frequently repeated value in the set.

The word average is of course also very commonly used in more general ways. In math, though, it’s helpful to use more specific terms when determining the most representative or common value in a set of numbers.

To illustrate the difference, let’s look at an example set of seven values: 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9.

To get the mean of this set, you’d add up all the values (2+3+3+4+6+8+9=35) and then divide that total by the number of values (7), resulting in a mean of 5. This is what most people are referring to when they refer to the average of some set of numbers.

To find the median, you have to find the one that’s sequentially in the middle. In a set of seven numbers arranged in increasing value, the median is the fourth number (since there are three before and three after). In this set (2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9), the median is 4. When a set has an even number of values, the median is the mean of the two middle values.

The mode is simply the value that shows up the most. In the example set, the mode is 3, since it occurs twice and all the other values occur only once.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between average, mean, median, and mode.

Quiz yourself on average vs. mean vs. median vs. mode!

Should average, mean, median, or mode be used in the following sentence?

The most frequently repeated test score is 80, so it’s the _____ of the set.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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