Etymology: from earlier average proportionally distributed charge for damage at sea, modification of Middle French avarie damage to ship or cargo, from Old Italian avaria, from Arabic ‘awārīya damaged merchandise
a. a single value (as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values
b. mean 1b
a. an estimation of or approximation to an arithmetic mean
b. a level (as of intelligence) typical of a group, class, or series <above the average> 3. a ratio expressing the average performance especially of an athletic team or an athlete computed according to the number of opportunities for successful performance Synonyms: average, mean, median, norm mean something that represents a middle point. average is exactly or approximately the quotient obtained by dividing the sum total of a set of figures by the number of figures <scored an average of 85 on tests>. mean may be the simple average or it may represent value midway between two extremes <a high of 70° and a low of 50° give a mean of 60°>. median applies to the value that represents the point at which there are as many instances above as there are below <average of a group of persons earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 dollars an hour is 6 dollars, whereas the median is 5 dollars>. norm means the computed or estimated average of performance of a significantly large group, class, or grade <scores about the norm for fifth grade arithmetic>. II. adjective Date: 1770 1. equaling an arithmetic mean 2. a. being about midway between extremes <a man of average height> b. not out of the ordinary ; common <the average person> • averagely adverb • averageness noun III. verb (averaged; averaging) Date: 1769 intransitive verb 1. a. to be or come to an average <the gain averaged out to 20 percent> b. to have a medial value of <a color averaging a pale purple> 2. to buy on a falling market or sell on a rising market additional shares or commodities so as to obtain a more favorable average price — usually used with down or up transitive verb 1. to do, get, or have on the average or as an average sum or quantity <averages 12 hours of work a day> 2. to find the arithmetic mean of (a series of unequal quantities) 3. a. to bring toward the average b. to divide among a number proportionately
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.