average

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Old French avarie, from Old Italian avaria (which possibly from Arabic عوارية (ʕawārīya, damaged goods), from عوار (ʕawār, fault, blemish, defect, flaw), from عور (ʕáwira, to lose an eye)).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)
  • (US) enPR: ăvʹərĭj, enPR: ăvʹrĭj, IPA(key): /ˈævəɹɪdʒ/, /ˈævɹɪdʒ/

Noun[edit]

average (plural averages)

  1. (law, marine) Financial loss due to damage to transported goods; compensation for damage or loss. [From 15th C.]
    • 2008, Filiberto Agusti, Beverley Earle, Richard Schaffer, Filiberto Agusti, Beverley Earle, International Business Law and Its Environment, page 219,
      Historically, the courts have allowed a general average claim only where the loss occurred as a result of the ship being in immediate peril. [] The court awarded the carrier the general average claim. It noted that “a ship′s master should not be discouraged from taking timely action to avert a disaster,” and need not be in actual peril to claim general average.
  2. Customs duty or similar charge payable on transported goods.
  3. Proportional or equitable distribution of financial expense.
  4. (mathematics) The arithmetic mean.
    • 2013 June 1, “Towards the end of poverty”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 11: 
      But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 (the average of the 15 poorest countries’ own poverty lines, measured in 2005 dollars and adjusted for differences in purchasing power): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short.
    The average of 10, 20 and 24 is (10 + 20 + 24)/3 = 18.
  5. (statistics) Any measure of central tendency, especially any mean, the median, or the mode.
  6. (sports) An indication of a player's ability calculated from his scoring record, etc.
    batting average
  7. (UK, law, obsolete) The service that a tenant owed his lord, to be done by the animals of the tenant, such as the transportation of wheat, turf, etc.
  8. (UK, in the plural) In the corn trade, the medial price of the several kinds of grain in the principal corn markets.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (mathematics, statistics): The term average may refer to the statistical mean, median or mode of a batch, sample, or distribution, or sometimes any other measure of central tendency. Statisticians and responsible news sources are careful to use whichever of these specific terms is appropriate. In common usage, average refers to the arithmetic mean. It is, however, a common rhetorical trick to call the most favorable of mean, median and mode the "average" depending on the interpretation of a set of figures that the speaker or writer wants to promote.

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Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

average (comparative more average, superlative most average)

  1. (not comparable) Constituting or relating to the average.
    The average age of the participants was 18.5.
  2. Neither very good nor very bad; rated somewhere in the middle of all others in the same category.
    I soon found I was only an average chess player.
  3. Typical.
    • 2002, Andy Turnbull, The Synthetic Beast: When Corporations Come to Life, page 12,
      We tend to think that exceptionally attractive men and women are outstanding but the fact is that they are more average than most.
    • 2004, Deirdre V. Lovecky, Different Minds: Gifted Children with AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits, page 75,
      Things that never would occur to more average children, with and without AD/HD, will give these children nightmares.
    • '2009, Susan T. Fiske, Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology, page 73,
      In other words, highly attractive people like highly attractive communicators and more average people like more average communicators.
    The average family will not need the more expensive features of this product.
  4. (informal) Not outstanding, not good, banal; bad or poor.
    • 2002, Andy Slaven, Video Game Bible, 1985-2002, page 228,
      The graphics, sound, and most everything else are all very average. However, the main thing that brings this game down are the controls - they feel very clumsy and awkward at times.
    • 2005, Brad Knight, Laci Peterson: The Whole Story: Laci, Scott, and Amber's Deadly Love Triangle, page 308,
      But what the vast majority of the populace doesn′t realise is the fact that he′s only on TV because he became famous from one case, Winona Ryder's, which, by the way, he lost because he′s only a very average attorney.
    • 2009, Carn Tiernan, On the Back of the Other Side, page 62,
      In the piano stool there was a stack of music, mostly sentimental ballads intended to be sung by people with very average voices accompanied by not very competent pianists.

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Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

average (third-person singular simple present averages, present participle averaging, simple past and past participle averaged)

  1. (transitive, informal) To compute the arithmetic mean of.
    If you average 10, 20 and 24, you get 18.
  2. Over a period of time or across members of a population, to have or generate a mean value of.
    The daily high temperature last month averaged 15°C.
  3. To divide among a number, according to a given proportion.
    to average a loss

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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