Meaning of AVERAGE in English


/ ˈævərɪdʒ; NAmE / adjective , noun , verb

■ adjective


[ only before noun ] calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts :

an average rate / cost / price

Average earnings are around £20 000 per annum.

at an average speed of 100 miles per hour


typical or normal :

40 hours is a fairly average working week for most people.

children of above / below average intelligence

£20 for dinner is about average.


ordinary; not special :

I was just an average sort of student.

►  aver·age·ly adverb :

He was attractive and averagely intelligent.

■ noun [ C , U ]


the result of adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts :

The average of 4, 5 and 9 is 6.

Parents spend an average of $220 a year on toys.

If I get an A on this essay, that will bring my average (= average mark / grade) up to a B+.

—see also grade point average


a level which is usual :

Temperatures are above / below average for the time of year.

400 people a year die of this disease on average .

Class sizes in the school are below the national average .


see law

■ verb


[ vn ] [ no passive ] to be equal to a particular amount as an average :

Economic growth is expected to average 2% next year.

Drivers in London can expect to average about 12 miles per hour (= to have that as their average speed) .


to calculate the average of sth :

[ vn ]

Earnings are averaged over the whole period.

[also v ]


- average out (at sth)

- average sth out (at sth)



late 15th cent.: from French avarie damage to ship or cargo, earlier customs duty, from Italian avaria , from Arabic 'awār damage to goods; the suffix -age is on the pattern of damage . Originally this referred to a tax on exported goods. The meaning later changed so that it referred to money due from goods that had been lost or damaged at sea. It referred specifically to the way the losses were divided between the owners of the vessel and the owners of the cargo (late 16th cent.). This gave rise to the general sense of calculating the mean (mid 18th cent.).

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.