Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To turn away.
  • transitive verb To keep from happening; prevent: synonym: prevent.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To turn aside or away.
  • verb transitive To ward off, or prevent, the occurrence or effects of.
  • verb intransitive, archaic To turn away.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English averten, from Old French avertir, from Latin āvertere : ā-, ab-, away from; see ab– + vertere, to turn; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

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