Definition of average in English:



  • 1A number expressing the central or typical value in a set of data, in particular the mode, median, or (most commonly) the mean, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number.

    ‘the proportion of over-60s is above the EU average of 19 per cent’
    • ‘Student loans are being processed above the national average in Essex.’
    • ‘Southampton has made great strides over the past six years in closing the gap between our results and the national averages, and we are proud of this achievement.’
    • ‘Results are above national averages, with pupils particularly shining in this summer's tests for 14-year-olds.’
    • ‘Across Leeds as a whole results have improved on last year, and the city's schools are above the national average in all three subjects.’
    • ‘Data in the figures is an average of the data obtained in the presence and absence of FCS.’
    • ‘Determine the average per nozzle by dividing the total output by the number of nozzles on the boom.’
    • ‘Quite why Bradford should be so much above the national average is unclear.’
    • ‘He said that Bolton's highways are above the national average for cleanliness.’
    • ‘St Tiernan's College recorded biology results that were far higher than the national average.’
    • ‘Parents will be given report cards detailing their child's results and placing them in the context of a national average.’
    • ‘Sutton's senior schools are performing well above the national average, new Government figures reveal.’
    • ‘To repeat, we measured the perceived overall extent of succession planning by the average of the averages obtained for the five parts of the process.’
    • ‘A school district Inspector General's report found chaos in the handling of projects and said that consultants' fees were above national averages.’
    • ‘That is more than twice the national average over the past decade - 6 million acres.’
    • ‘Home prices in Shanghai are more than twice the national average, and rose by nearly a quarter last year.’
    • ‘Standards in maths are very high and are well above the national average in English and science.’
    • ‘Pupils continue to achieve well in Years 1 and 2 and reach standards in reading, maths and science that match and sometimes exceed national averages and the results of similar schools.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, this is way above the national average 13 for a unitary authority.’
    • ‘The school was above the national average in this category.’
    • ‘Chippenham fuel prices are above the national average, reaching 83.9p a litre in some petrol stations.’
    mean, median, mode, midpoint, centre
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    1. 1.1 An amount, standard, level, or rate regarded as usual or ordinary.
      ‘underground water reserves are below average’
      ‘they take about thirty minutes on average’
      • ‘On average, we can expect imported television to be of better quality than domestic.’
      • ‘On average there are 12 fatalities a year at level crossings, but the UK has one of the best crossing safety records in Europe.’
      • ‘On average, a 10 minute interval separated each loading cycle.’
      • ‘In my view, the present case was above average in legal complexity because of some unique issues, but it was not the most complex case on the facts.’
      • ‘Babies who are put in walkers take three weeks longer on average to stand alone and walk than those who come to it naturally, researchers say.’
      • ‘On average, SUVs consume over 6 miles per gallon more than a family station wagon.’
      • ‘On average, the amount for food and clothing accounts for 60 per cent of the money for children.’
      • ‘On average 5.75 tons of paper are collected from individual areas in the borough each month.’
      • ‘On average around three tremors measuring three on the Richter scale strike the UK every year.’
      • ‘On average, we can expect lives a bit shorter than those of Greeks, a bit longer than those of Portuguese.’
      • ‘On average 30 children a year receive treatment for Hodgkin's disease.’
      • ‘Half of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardised tests.’
      • ‘On average, Maori life expectancy is 10 years less than that of Pakeha.’
      • ‘On average, Irish consumers spend €88 each time they use their credit card.’
      • ‘Even after the recent rate hikes, real interest rates remain below average compared with consumer price inflation.’
      • ‘On average, we consumed more fruit and less vegetables last year, with the potato seeing the biggest plunge in terms of demand.’
      • ‘On average, the number of drivers speeding at camera sites dropped from 55 per cent to 16.’
      • ‘On average 15 people a year die from heart attacks or collapses each year in towns of a similar size.’
      • ‘He warned the emission levels were on average in excess of 100 micrograms per cubic metre.’
      • ‘On average, Pudong consumes 700,000 to 800,000 cubic metres of gas every day.’
      normally, usually, ordinarily, generally, generally speaking, in general, for the most part, in most cases, as a rule, typically
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  • 2mass noun The apportionment of financial liability resulting from loss of or damage to a ship or its cargo.

    • ‘An example of particular average is fire damage to a vessel and cargo aboard the vessel.’
    • ‘But in all other cases where a ship is intentionally run on shore for the common safety, the consequent loss or damage shall be allowed as general average.’
    • ‘Particular average signifies the damage or partial loss happening to the ship, or cargo, or freight.’
    • ‘Under General Average, those whose cargo survives a voyage are charged to repay the loss of another shipper whose cargo may have been jettisoned or lost.’
    1. 2.1 Reduction in the amount payable under an insurance policy, e.g. in respect of partial loss.
      • ‘In marine insurance, in the case of a partial loss, or emergency repairs to the vessel, average may be declared.’


  • 1Constituting the result obtained by adding together several amounts and then dividing this total by the number of amounts.

    ‘the average temperature in May was 4°C below normal’
    • ‘The sliding velocity was obtained by dividing the average value of the lengths of tracks by the given period of time.’
    • ‘All benchmarks were run a total of three times, with the average results shown here today.’
    • ‘The primary reason is that using differing time frames to obtain average returns will lead to different results.’
    • ‘The income figures are based on average household earnings divided by population.’
    • ‘The results were averaged to determine the average temperature increase for that mill.’
    • ‘On the scalp, where hair is usually densest and longest, the average total number of hairs is between 100000 and 150000.’
    • ‘Mutant frequencies were calculated by dividing the median number of mutants by the average number of total cells.’
    • ‘As this model is analyzed only in terms of average payoffs, these results are not affected by these assumptions.’
    • ‘What this means is that there are inefficiencies within the firm or industry resulting in rising average costs.’
    • ‘Men hold an average total of 21,026 compared with women's average total of 13, 989.’
    • ‘He pointed out that cold weather over the remainder of the year could bring the average total temperature down.’
    • ‘As a result, the average salary of women constitutes two thirds of men's salaries.’
    • ‘Sex ratio predictions were based on the average temperature during the middle third of incubation.’
    • ‘To calculate payment entitlements, the single payment is divided by the average area held by the farmer in the base period.’
    • ‘Going on the bank's own figures this will result in an average charge of €50 a year for these customers.’
    • ‘As a result, the average age of first time purchase in the UK is increasing.’
    • ‘As a result, average payouts are expected to rise by about 20% under new rules.’
    • ‘As a result, more radiation is blocked, and the average surface temperature of the earth increases.’
    • ‘These data show that the total average approval time increased to 213 days from 172 days.’
    • ‘The average total income has also risen by a phenomenal amount.’
    mean, median, medial, middle
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    1. 1.1 Of the usual or ordinary amount, standard, level, or rate.
      ‘a woman of average height’
      • ‘Those rates beat the average level of ownership in most European countries.’
      • ‘I would have one single rate of Vat or harmonise our excise duties to the average EU level.’
      • ‘That means sea level has been rising at an average rate of 1.8 millimetres per year.’
      • ‘It is a long way, and the average height above sea level is more than 2000 metres.’
      • ‘Although Perth's average CO level is within the standard, increasing car use will cause the level to rise.’
      • ‘He was of average height by Aetheris standards, with a swimmer's physique, and a handsome face.’
      • ‘This isn't due to a sudden drop in average IQ levels, but to a secret backroom deal between lavvy manufacturers and environmentalists.’
      • ‘In determining the expected level of use, consider both the average rates and any surges in use.’
      • ‘That's about normal for the time of year and is the average level of registrations expected.’
      • ‘How long do members think it will take to pay off that amount, at an average interest rate of 18 percent?’
      • ‘Wave equations normally describe an average wave height; they don't describe rogues.’
      • ‘Thus, lower rates of migration in the population lead to stronger average levels of association.’
      • ‘Normally super-fit people, say marathon runners, have an average heart rate of 65.’
      • ‘This average rate of profit, in turn, regulates the prices of production.’
      • ‘According to Greenpeace, the ratio of power consumption to GDP in Bulgaria is nine times the average level in Europe.’
      • ‘We've already had in excess of twenty people audition, and I'd say the average level of talent is in excess of our expectations.’
      • ‘The fertility rate measures the average number of children women aged 15 to 49 will have in their lifetime.’
      • ‘If you have an average level of fitness, that's approximately the length of time it would take you to do two laps of Savannah if you are running.’
      • ‘Price airfares and vacation packages on several different sites to see what the average rate is for your travel dates.’
      • ‘Today's average levels are not typical of values throughout human evolution.’
      ordinary, standard, usual, normal, typical, regular, unexceptional
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    2. 1.2 Having qualities that are seen as typical of a particular person, group, or thing.
      ‘the average lad likes a good night out’
      • ‘Leisure is passé and foolish even for the average teenager today.’
      • ‘If you took a caricature of the average teenager and reversed almost every attribute, you would get Elizabeth.’
      • ‘The day was rough by normal standards, that is, the standards of an average Roman citizen who live in Byzantium.’
      • ‘As the great musical icon of the Sixties counterculture, Dylan has always been expected to live up to higher moral standards than the average rocker.’
      • ‘According to the survey, the quality of the average diet of Chinese people has improved significantly.’
      • ‘Your average record store can obtain any CD the vast majority of customers are going to reasonably want.’
      • ‘Bow Wow may be more famous than the average teenager, but that hasn't made him exempt from life's growing pains.’
      • ‘An average day at Standard Chartered will involve meetings on forthcoming deals, relations with governments or internal issues.’
      • ‘This results in the average person being able to do things with computers they've never been able to do before.’
      • ‘As a result, the average baby is not born at the optimal weight for avoiding an early death.’
      • ‘Chris Brand reports poll results showing that the average Brit is a lot more tough-minded than the British government.’
      • ‘It is even so when they just arrived in a city in which the average water quality is not as good.’
      • ‘And since his childhood Gary has gone from strength to strength and now enjoys a range of hobbies like any average teenager.’
      • ‘This means the average teenager with 20 bucks in his pocket is going to be hard pressed to buy a single CD.’
      • ‘They are your average scally lads, bad hair, tight jeans, unwashed, smelly, drunken.’
      • ‘Fourth, one has to face the fact that the quality of the average PhD is not as good as it might be.’
      • ‘According to a government census the average adult watches a total of about 70 days of TV per year!’
      • ‘As a result, the average citizen today not only feels, but in reality is quite removed from the political process.’
      • ‘As a result, the average photographer is more likely to use the technology and use it successfully.’
      • ‘The two boys showed a camera crew around their average lad's room with its posters, messy CD racks and superhero bedding.’
    3. 1.3 Mediocre; not very good.
      ‘a very average director making very average movies’
      • ‘The full frame video is a carbon copy of years past, with adequate and average colors, definition, and detail.’
      • ‘Of course, there are a lot of teachers who are only average, just as there are average dentists and so-so lawyers.’
      • ‘Some of my time in the weekend was spent watching average movies.’
      • ‘UCD were decidedly average and were second best in a goalless draw.’
      • ‘The stories are out and most groups are sort of satisfied with a pretty average result.’
      • ‘Perry is prone to injury, but when he's healthy, he's an adequate defensive player with average power.’
      • ‘It may not make your movie good, but it will make the movie different from your average film.’
      • ‘In the end too much of the hour is simply spent watching the company logo and films that are no more funny or dramatic than your average home movie.’
      • ‘The Transporter combines decent action with a mediocre story to produce a very average film.’
      • ‘This week's quote is from a similarly average movie.’
      • ‘I didn't apply myself, preferring to spend most of high school in a gloom, so I got only average results except in English.’
      • ‘This task is done in considerable detail, but also with more than adequate explanation for the average player.’
      • ‘It's just your average forgettable movie knockoff of a better movie.’
      • ‘Mateo has good range defensively at second with only an average arm.’
      • ‘What's wrong with being average and mediocre in studies, if you're excellent at life skills?’
      • ‘The seasons, frighteningly unfamiliar to your average cook, are second nature to Susan and Margaret.’
      • ‘I looked away from the window to see a guy wearing plain, average clothes.’
      • ‘Suggests that she only cares about social status, which is actually not as true as the average teen movie would have it.’
      • ‘I don't find the cinema experience awesome enough to warrant sitting through average movies.’
      • ‘The first was the flavoring: your average butter, sugar vanilla frosting ingredients.’
      mediocre, second-rate, uninspired, undistinguished, ordinary, commonplace, middle-of-the-road, mainstream, unexceptional, unexciting, unremarkable, unmemorable, indifferent, humdrum, nothing special, everyday, bland, run-of-the-mill, not very good, pedestrian, prosaic, lacklustre, forgettable, amateur, amateurish
      View synonyms


[with object]
  • 1Amount to or achieve as an average rate or amount over a period of time; mean.

    ‘annual inflation averaged 2.4 per cent’
    • ‘By the end of the year, inflation will average between seven and eight per cent.’
    • ‘For example, in Canada part-time wages average 55.9 percent of full-time wages.’
    • ‘She had been contracted to average a 20-hour week but was averaging only 15 to 16 hours a week.’
    • ‘Inflation is expected to average 0.7 per cent this year and 1.1 per cent next year.’
    • ‘At the nearby Lady Tennyson small amounts of copper ore averaging twenty-five to thirty percent were also raised.’
    • ‘Angelini said mainland occupancy rates averaged 66 per cent in the first four months of the year.’
    • ‘They are demanding pay increases to keep pace with inflation which is currently averaging 3 percent a year.’
    • ‘He averaged the least amount of playing time he had since his second season.’
    • ‘The company continues to expand at a rate averaging 30 new stores a month.’
    • ‘A teacher in California maybe averages an annual salary of $52,000.’
    • ‘The German air force claims the Eurofighter has averaged an hour a week in the air.’
    • ‘People living in Glasgow city centre boast some of the lowest car-ownership rates, averaging one car for every five adults.’
    • ‘The business now concentrates solely on milk production, averaging an annual output of 2.3 million litres.’
    • ‘Later the line moved indoors; we were told that the wait had averaged two hours for the entire day.’
    • ‘On agricultural goods the custom duty rate will average 74 per cent, the same as last year.’
    • ‘It also said that the rate of unemployment is expected to average 4.2 per cent this year and next year.’
    • ‘Iran has one of the highest road accident rates in the world, averaging five deaths every two hours.’
    • ‘The US economy has averaged around four percent annual growth over the past five years.’
    • ‘The upshot is that the parents of Irish babies are averaging a mere 5.5 hours of unbroken sleep.’
    • ‘If cities like Manchester and Sheffield can average six per cent, why can't we?’
    1. 1.1 Calculate or estimate the average of.
      ‘they earned only £35 weekly when their seasonal earnings were averaged out’
      • ‘Global scores were calculated by averaging the results of all tests with z scores.’
      • ‘Two area calculations of the same tracing are averaged to determine the wound area.’
      • ‘We calculated a mean exclusion probability by averaging the probabilities for individual nests.’
      • ‘Estimates from several modes can be averaged to decrease the experimental error.’
      • ‘The estimated treatment effects at the four visits were averaged to give a summary estimate of effect over one year.’
      • ‘The growth rates were estimated from coleoptile lengths averaged over two independent experiments.’
      • ‘Item ratings were averaged to calculate an overall SDO score for each participant.’
      • ‘Ratios between hydrostatic and osmotic root Lp r were calculated for individual roots which were then averaged.’
      • ‘Mean values for each trait were calculated by averaging the population replicates for each species.’
      • ‘RGR is then calculated for each pair, and the values averaged over all pairs.’
      • ‘Peak exercise variables were calculated by averaging the final 30 seconds of exercise.’
      • ‘Proportions were first averaged for each nestling with multiple bill load estimates.’
      • ‘Scores for these global scales were calculated by averaging item responses.’
      • ‘In each region, we averaged the estimates of all studies.’
      • ‘Although this can arise just by chance for some loci, averaging estimates over loci reduces the problem.’
      • ‘The calculations were then averaged from questionnaires sent to each woman every two years.’
      • ‘These estimates were calculated for each locus and averaged over all loci.’
      • ‘First, we calculated the overall mean by averaging the predicted means for each study group.’
      • ‘You, in turn, average their estimates and take the result as the collective output.’
      • ‘In this case, the running average was calculated by averaging each point with its neighbor on either side.’
    2. 1.2average outno object Result in an even distribution; even out.
      ‘it is reasonable to hope that the results will average out’
      • ‘This involved cutting out a pie-shaped wedge of bone, so it was bent towards my thumb below the knuckle, and then bent the other way at my knuckle, to average out sort of unbent.’
      • ‘Every parent should resist the urge to see our kids as extraordinary - each child has talents and develops some skills earlier than others, but most of them average out.’
      • ‘The theory goes, says Escherich, that whether one buys high or low, it all averages out.’
      • ‘Funny, but the squeakers don't all average out.’
      • ‘But we're averaging out across the week and you find out that those individuals will make up the time, they will sleep in extra over the weekend to make up for their own sleep deficit.’
      • ‘It has been calculated that if the total rainfall over the Earth were averaged out, each place would get something like 800 millimetres of rain a year.’
      • ‘Running the X-Dream at about the halfway mark performance averages out, and the noise output is very tolerable.’
      • ‘Because the capacity on each parallel ring is shared between the nodes, traffic variations are averaged out - the network is more robust to unforeseen changes in traffic behavior.’
      • ‘Grown-ups burn more than kids; but it all averages out: 14 floor lamps per person, lit round the clock.’
      • ‘It is always difficult with a new school in a new area, you can never get it spot on, but the problem does average out over a few years so that there are only local children at the school.’
      • ‘It probably all averages out, with some fluctuations.’
      • ‘Thus, during the measurement of the autocorrelation profile the properties of gel and fluid domains may, to a certain degree, be averaged out.’
      • ‘It'll be slightly more money, but if it means I use it more then it'll all average out and be worth it in the long run.’
      • ‘In contrast to thermodynamics, where molecular motions can be averaged out over macroscopic scales, genetic details do influence phenotypic evolution.’
      • ‘The hydrofoil surfaces swept up and down producing lift forces which averaged out over the whole cycle to a forwardly directed propulsive resultant force.’
      • ‘You just hope that the good averages out the bad.’
      • ‘Yes, he went for more than we expected, but some go for more, some for less, and you hope it averages out.’
      • ‘The price you pay for units over time averages out - and provided the unit price when you come to cash up your investments is higher than the average you paid for units, you will make a profit.’
      • ‘When the signal is correlated with a dwell time much longer than its frequency, the signal gets effectively averaged out in each dwell time and the calculated correlation function gets damped.’
      • ‘Recording times averaged out quite well over about a month of almost daily use.’
    3. 1.3average out at/tono object Result in an average figure of.
      ‘the cost should average out at about £6 per page’
      • ‘Now, my circulation figures average out to about 150,000-200,000 readers per month.’
      • ‘The ideal size on a national basis averages out to 2.4 children per family.’
      • ‘That averages out at 9706 a week, or 1386 every single day.’
      • ‘The year has just begun and there have already been more than 60 murders, which averages out to about 4 murders per day.’
      • ‘In the first half of 2005 alone, 2,672 miners died in mining-related accidents in China, which averages out to more than one person 14 people per day.’
      • ‘One vehicle acquired in September 2002 has only done 2,710 recorded miles, averaging out at just under 25 miles a week.’
      • ‘‘Power failures are averaging out to two to three hours a day at a stretch,’ explains his friend, a Faisal Town resident.’
      • ‘The top six polls' latest results average out at 40.9 percent for the ruling coalition.’
      • ‘That averages out to about $111 million a year on the $750 million investment, or about a 15% annual return.’
      • ‘While I can appreciate that some tenants may be in temporary difficulties, the total figure is now averaging out at £5 for each council house we own, and this represents a very large sum of money.’
      • ‘All results were taken 6 times and averaged out to one result over a 48 hour period.’
      • ‘Today's initial jaunt covered 0.67 of a mile and took 5.5 minutes at a maximum speed of 10 mph, averaging out at 7 mph.’
      • ‘According to recent statistics, roughly $50 billion is spent annually in the U.S. on weddings, which averages out to $20,000 per wedding.’
      • ‘Total transactions on the exchange, which trades in gold and agricultural commodities, more than doubled last year from 388,000 lots in 2003 to 999,000 lots, averaging out at 3,842 lots per day.’
      • ‘I don't see anything even slightly wrong with that, as long as the total number of minutes of advertising over the entire 3 hours of the program averages out to 16 minutes per hour.’
      • ‘It averages out to about $3.90 a serving, which doesn't seem too bad (if I got 6 servings out of each, it would be $2.60).’
      • ‘The compensation is to paid in recognition of the inconvenience caused by additional traffic going to and from the landfill and averages out at 6500 a year.’
      • ‘I'm not sure it even averages out to 2 hours a day.’
      • ‘However, the figure for the year should average out at 2%.’
      • ‘My subscription is for 1 DVD at a time costing £7.97 per month, but by paying 3 months in advance at a cost of £18.91 the monthly cost averages out at just over £6.30.’


Late 15th century: 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 denoting a duty payable by the owner of goods to be shipped, the term later denoted the financial liability from goods lost or damaged at sea, and specifically the equitable apportionment of this between the owners of the vessel and of the cargo (late 16th century); this gave rise to the general sense of calculating the mean (mid 18th century).