- a charge paid by the master of a ship for such services as pilotage or towage.
- an expense, partial loss, or damage to a ship or cargo.
- the incidence of such an expense or loss to the owners or their insurers.
- an equitable apportionment among all the interested parties of such an expense or loss.Compare general average, particular average.
verb (used with object), av·er·aged, av·er·ag·ing.
verb (used without object), av·er·aged, av·er·ag·ing.
- to come out of a security or commodity transaction with a profit or without a loss.
- to reach an average or other figure: His taxes should average out to about a fifth of his income.
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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.
Example sentences from the Web for average
That is roughly in line with a Post average of recent polls from the state that put Biden’s advantage at seven points.Election live updates: Trump returns to Wisconsin; Biden to face live audience at town hall|Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
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.The key shifts in Minnesota and Wisconsin that have improved Biden’s chances of victory|Philip Bump|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
Since the lockout of 2004-05, five cup winners have averaged fewer goals per game.Teams Don’t Win The Stanley Cup With A Goal Deficit. Can The Dallas Stars Change That?|Terrence Doyle|September 16, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
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.Post-ABC Wisconsin poll shows Biden holding narrow edge over Trump|Dan Balz, Emily Guskin|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
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.Trump, in town hall, says he wouldn’t have done anything differently on pandemic|Colby Itkowitz, Josh Dawsey, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
Well over a thousand holes in, I average less than four strokes per hole.Lost For Thousands of Strokes: 'Desert Golfing' Is 'Angry Birds' as Modern Art|Alec Kubas-Meyer|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
On average, the vaccine has an efficacy of about 60 percent.When You Get the Flu This Winter, You Can Blame Anti-Vaxxers|Kent Sepkowitz|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
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.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice|Stephen Leacock
He was a pretty bright sort, that same Goodell, quick-witted, nimble of tongue above the average Englishman.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for average
- a loss incurred or damage suffered by a ship or its cargo at sea
- the equitable apportionment of such loss among the interested parties