from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To be of use or advantage to; help: Nothing could avail the dying patient.
- intransitive v. To be of use, value, or advantage; serve: Halfway measures will no longer avail.
- n. Use, benefit, or advantage: labored to no avail.
- idiom avail (oneself) of To make use of.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To turn to the advantage of
- v. To be of service to.
- v. To promote; to assist.
- v. To be of use or advantage; to answer or serve the purpose; to have strength, force, or efficacy sufficient to accomplish the object.
- v. To provide.
- n. Effort; striving.
- n. An advertising slot or package.
- n. A press avail.
- n. Non-binding notice of availability for work.
- n. A readily available stock of oil.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Profit; advantage toward success; benefit; value.
- n. Proceeds.
- v. See avale, v.
- intransitive v. To be of use or advantage; to answer the purpose; to have strength, force, or efficacy sufficient to accomplish the object
- transitive v. To turn to the advantage of; to be of service to; to profit; to benefit; to help.
- transitive v. To promote; to assist.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To have value or use; be of service or advantage; give profit: as, wealth avails little to a castaway.
- To have force or efficacy; serve for a purpose; give aid toward an end: as, his cries availed to bring relief.
- To take or draw advantage; make use or profit.
- To be for the advantage of; assist or profit: as, what will skill avail us against numbers?
- To promote; prosper; assist: said of things.
- To advantage; profit; give the benefit to: used reflexively, with of: as, he availed himself of the opportunity.
- See avale.
- n. Advantage, profit, or benefit, in a general sense; also, value or estimation.
- n. Efficacy for a purpose; advantage to an object or end: now used chiefly in negative phrases, or sentences of negative import: as, of little or no avail; I doubt whether it will be of much avail.
- n. plural Profits or proceeds: as, the avails of a sale by auction.
- n. Returns.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. take or use
- v. be of use to, be useful to
- n. a means of serving
- v. use to one's advantage
You reported on the usage of the word avail as shorthand or shortspeak for availability.
Writers in England who argue for contribution in money ask: "Of what avail is the presence of a few cruisers in Canadian waters?"
Jane writes to her sister: Charles has received £30 for his share in the privateer, and expects £10 more; but of what avail is it to take prizes if he lays out the produce in presents to his sisters?
Of what avail is all that you have let me learn, all the Sanskrit and English and other things, an I am less able to help myself than the woman who grinds the corn for our daily bread?
During the meeting, the two officials agreed to assign a joint-team of specialists and technicians to draft a cooperation protocol enabling Yemen to avail from the Spanish experience in fisheries.
257 In the text he tells of the whole story beginning with the eunuch and the hundred dinars, the chest, etc.: but — “of no avail is a twice-told tale.”
Luna tries to hunt desert rabbits, to no avail, which is good.
When his power ceases to avail, that is when a stronger than he appears upon the scene, he is himself liable to be despoiled and killed.
I have you fast, and little will your sword avail you '; then followed loud blows against the wall.
Time and time again, I have heard from experts in the field willing to offer their expertise to the Government in developing a plan on how to move beyond the ABC collapse to ensure its devastating stronghold on the sector is never repeated, to no avail, which is why I successfully moved for an inquiry into the regulation of childcare in Australia.