Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1700-1800
Origin: average '(fair sharing out of costs resulting from) damage to or loss of a ship or the goods it carries' (15-20 centuries), from French avarie, from Arabic 'awariyah 'damaged goods'


2 noun
average2 S2
1 [countable] the amount calculated by adding together several quantities, and then dividing this amount by the total number of quantities
average of
The average of 3, 8 and 10 is 7.
Each person raised an average of £60 to plant an acre of trees.
The December figures brought the annual average for 2001 up to 10.6 per cent.

on average

based on a calculation about how many times something usually happens, how much money someone usually gets, how often people usually do something etc:
On average, men still earn more than women.
Nearly 80% of Swiss citizens on average turn out to vote.
3 [uncountable and countable] the usual level or amount for most people or things:
Streets in the town centre are wider than the average.
above/below average
The school's eighth-graders are above average in science.
The murder rate in the city has risen to four times the national average.

➔ law of averages

at law (9)

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