from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A number that typifies a set of numbers of which it is a function.
  • noun An intermediate level or degree.
  • noun The usual or ordinary kind or quality.
  • noun Sports The ratio of a team's or player's successful performances such as wins, hits, or goals, divided by total opportunities for successful performance, such as games, times at bat, or shots.
  • noun The loss of a ship or cargo, caused by damage at sea.
  • noun The incurrence of damage or loss of a ship or cargo at sea.
  • noun The equitable distribution of such a loss among concerned parties.
  • noun A charge incurred through such a loss.
  • noun Nautical Small expenses or charges that are usually paid by the master of a ship.
  • adjective Mathematics Of, relating to, or constituting an average.
  • adjective Being intermediate between extremes, as on a scale.
  • adjective Usual or ordinary in kind or character.
  • adjective Assessed in accordance with the law of averages.
  • intransitive verb Mathematics To calculate the average of.
  • intransitive verb To do or have an average of.
  • intransitive verb To distribute proportionately.
  • intransitive verb To be or amount to an average.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In old law, a kind of service owed by tenants to their superior.
  • noun A mode of estimating, by comparison, the strength or weakness of a billiard play.
  • noun In cricket: The aggregate number of runs a batsman has scored, divided by the number of his completed innings.
  • noun The aggregate number of runs scored from a bowler, divided by the number of batsmen he has ‘dismissed.’
  • noun A duty or tax upon goods.
  • noun A small charge payable by the shippers of goods to the master of the ship, over and above the freight, for his care of the goods. Hence the clause, in bills of lading, “paying so much freight, with primage and average accustomed.”
  • noun A small charge paid by the master on account of the ship and cargo, such as pilotage, towage, etc.: called more specifically petty average.
  • noun A loss, or the sum paid on account of a loss (such as that of an anchor), when the general safety is not in question, and which falls on the owner of the particular property lost: called more specifically particular average.
  • noun A contribution made by the owners of a ship's freight and cargo, in proportion to their several interests, to make good a loss that has been sustained or an expense incurred for the general safety of the ship and cargo.
  • noun A sum or quantity intermediate to a number of different sums or quantities, obtained by adding them together and dividing the result by the number of quantities added; an arithmetical mean proportion. Thus, if four persons lose respectively $10, $20, $30, and $40, the average loss by the four is $25.
  • noun Any medial amount, estimate, or general statement based on a comparison of a number of diverse specific cases; a medium.
  • noun The stubble and grass left in corn-fields after harvest.
  • To find the arithemetical mean of, as unequal sums or quantities; reduce to a mean.
  • To result in, as an arithmetical mean term; amount to, as a mean sum or quantity: as, wheat averages 56 pounds to the bushel.
  • To divide among a number proportionally; divide the total amount of by the number of equal shares: as, to average a loss.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (OLd Eng. Law) That service which a tenant owed his lord, to be done by the work beasts of the tenant, as the carriage of wheat, turf, etc.
  • noun obsolete A tariff or duty on goods, etc.
  • noun Any charge in addition to the regular charge for freight of goods shipped.
  • noun A contribution to a loss or charge which has been imposed upon one of several for the general benefit; damage done by sea perils.
  • noun The equitable and proportionate distribution of loss or expense among all interested.
  • noun a contribution made, by all parties concerned in a sea adventure, toward a loss occasioned by the voluntary sacrifice of the property of some of the parties in interest for the benefit of all. It is called general average, because it falls upon the gross amount of ship, cargo, and freight at risk and saved by the sacrifice.
  • noun signifies the damage or partial loss happening to the ship, or cargo, or freight, in consequence of some fortuitous or unavoidable accident; and it is borne by the individual owners of the articles damaged, or by their insurers.
  • noun are sundry small charges, which occur regularly, and are necessarily defrayed by the master in the usual course of a voyage; such as port charges, common pilotage, and the like, which formerly were, and in some cases still are, borne partly by the ship and partly by the cargo. In the clause commonly found in bills of lading, “primage and average accustomed,” average means a kind of composition established by usage for such charges, which were formerly assessed by way of average.
  • noun A mean proportion, medial sum or quantity, made out of unequal sums or quantities; an arithmetical mean.
  • noun Any medial estimate or general statement derived from a comparison of diverse specific cases; a medium or usual size, quantity, quality, rate, etc.
  • noun In the English corn trade, the medial price of the several kinds of grain in the principal corn markets.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Early Modern English, damage to a ship or its cargo, equitable distribution of the expenses from such damage, average, from Middle English, charge above the cost of freight, from Old French avarie, from Old Italian avaria, duty, from Arabic ‘awārīya, damaged goods, from ‘awār, blemish, from ‘awira, to be damaged; see עwr in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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  • O such themes - equalities! O divine average!

    Whitman, "Starting from Paumanok"

    January 9, 2008