- 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
- 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)
Word Origin for 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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.