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

  • transitive v. To turn away: avert one's eyes.
  • transitive v. To ward off (something about to happen); prevent: averted an accident by turning sharply. See Synonyms at prevent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To turn aside or away.
  • v. To ward off, or prevent, the occurrence or effects of.
  • v. To turn away.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To turn away.
  • transitive v. To turn aside, or away; ; to ward off, or prevent, the occurrence or effects of; “To avert his ire.”

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To turn away; turn or cause to turn off or away: as, to avert the eyes from an object: now seldom with a personal object.
  • To give a turn or direction to; direct.
  • To ward off; prevent the occurrence or happening of (evil or something threatened).
  • To oppose; view with aversion.
  • To turn away.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
  • v. turn away or aside


Middle English averten, from Old French avertir, from Latin āvertere : ā-, ab-, away from; see ab-1 + vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French avertir ("turn, direct, avert ; turn the attention, make aware"), from Latin āvertere, present active infinitive of āvertō, from ab + vertō ("to turn"). (Wiktionary)



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