## QUIZZES

#### QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

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Improve Your Writing### Idioms for average

## Origin of average

## OTHER WORDS FROM average

## Words nearby average

## 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

## British Dictionary definitions for average

### noun

### adjective

### verb

## Derived forms of average

averagely, adverbaverageness, noun## Word Origin for average

## Medical definitions for average

### n.

### adj.

### v.

## Scientific definitions for average

## Cultural definitions for average

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.