Dictionary: AV'ER-AGE – A-VERT'ING

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


AV'ER-AGE, n. [Norm. aver, avers, cattle, money, goods, Sp. averio, from aver or haber, Fr. avoir, to have or possess. In ancient law, a duty or service which a tenant was bound to render to his lord, by his beasts and carriages or instruments of husbandry. Spelman. But averagium signifies also the loss of goods in transportation; Sp. averia, damage sustained by goods or ships; Port. avaria, an allowance out of freight to the master of a ship, for damage sustained; contribution by insurers, to make good a loss; It. avaria; Dan. haverie, damage of a ship or waste of goods, extraordinary charges during a voyage. If avaria signifies damage, and is from aver or haber, Spanish, to have, the sense of the word is probably that which happens or falls, a misfortune, for the verb have and happen are radically the same word; Spanish, haber, to have, and to happen or befall; also fortune, property. This would give the sense of damage, or of proportion, lot, share, that which falls to each of a number. But the primary sense is not very obvious.]

  1. In commerce, a contribution to a general loss. When for the safety of a ship in distress any destruction of property is incurred, either by cutting away the masts, throwing goods overboard, or other means, all persons who have goods on board, or property in the ship, contribute to the loss according to their average, that is, the goods of each on board. This principle, introduced into the commerce of Europe from the Rhodian laws, and recognized by the regulations of Wisby, is now an established rule in the maritime laws of Europe; for it is most reasonable, that when one man's property is sacrificed to save a ship, all persons whose property is saved, or in like hazard, should bear their proportion of the loss. – Spelman. Park. Beawes.
  2. From the practice of contributing to bear losses, in proportion to each man's property, this word has obtained the present popular sense, which is, that of a mean proportion, medial sum or quantity, made out of unequal sums or quantities. Thus, if A loses 5 dollars, B 9, and C 16, the sum is 30, and the average 10.
  3. A small duty 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 expression in bills of lading, “paying so much freight, with primage and average accustomed.” – Cowel. Encyc.
  4. In England, the breaking up of cornfields, eddish or roughings. Ash. Spelman. Upon, or on an average, is taking the mean of unequal numbers or quantities.

AV'ER-AGE, v.i.

To form a mean or medial sum or quantity; as, the losses of the owners will average 25 dollars each. These spars average 10 feet in length. – Belknap. Ch. Obs. x. 522, xi. 302.

AV'ER-AGE, v.t.

To find the mean of unequal sums or quantities; to reduce to a medium; to divide among number, according to a given proportion; as, to average a loss.

AV'ER-A-GED, pp.

Reduced or formed into a mean proportion, or into shares proportioned to each man's property. – Jefferson.

AV'ER-A-GING, ppr.

Forming a mean proportion out of unequal sums or quantities, or reducing to just shares according to each man's property.

A-VER'MENT, n. [See Aver.]

  1. Affirmation; positive assertion; the act of averring.
  2. Verification; establishment by evidence. – Bacon.
  3. In pleading, an offer of either party to justify or prove what he alledges. In any stage of pleadings, when either party advances now matter, he avers it to be true, and concludes with these words, “and this he is ready to verify.” This is called an averment. – Blackstone.


A sort of grape. – Ash. Johnson.


Pertaining to Avernus, a lake of Campania in Italy, famous for its poisonous qualities, which the poets represent as so malignant, as to kill fowls flying over. Hence, as authors tell us, its name, αορνος, without birds. – Virgil. Mela. Strabo.


Money paid toward the king's carriages by land, instead of service by the beasts in kind. – Burn.

A-VER'RED, pp.

Affirmed; laid with an averment.

A-VER'RING, ppr.

Affirming; declaring positively; offering to justify or verify.


One of a sect of peripatetic philosophers, who were so denominated from Averroes, a celebrated Arabian author. They held the soul to be mortal, though they pretended to submit to the Christian theology. – Encyc.

AV-ER-RUNC'ATE, v.t. [L. averrunco, of ad and erunco, from runco, to weed, or rake away.]

To root up; to scrape or tear away by the roots. – Hudibras.


The act of tearing up or raking away by the roots.

AV-ER-RUN-CA'TOR, n. [L. averrunco.]

In arboriculture, an instrument for pruning trees, consisting of two blades fixed on the end of a pole.

AV-ER-SA'TION, n. [L. aversor. See Avert.]

A turning from with disgust or dislike; aversion; hatred; disinclination. – South. It is nearly superseded by aversion.

AVERSE, a. [avers'; See Avert. The literal sense of this word is, turned from, in manifestation of dislike. Hence the real sense is,]

  1. Disliking; unwilling; having a repugnance of mind. Averse alike to flatter or offend. – Pope.
  2. Unfavorable; indisposed; malign. And Pallas now averse refused her aid. – Dryden. This word and its derivatives ought to be followed by to, and never by from. This word includes the idea of from; but the literal meaning being lost, the affection of the mind signified by the word, is exerted toward the object of dislike, and like its kindred terms, hatred, dislike, contrary, repugnant, &c., should be followed by to. Indeed it is absurd to speak of an affection of the mind exerted from an object. Averse expresses a less degree of opposition in the mind, than detesting and abhorring. Milton once uses averse in its literal sense, with from, but it is not according to the English idiom.

A-VERSE-LY, adv. [avers'ly.]

With repugnance; unwillingly. – Brown.

A-VERSE-NESS, n. [avers'ness.]

Opposition of mind; dislike; unwillingness; backwardness. – Herbert.

A-VER'SION, n. [Fr. aversion, from L. averto.]

  1. Opposition or repugnance of mind; dislike; disinclination; reluctance; hatred. Usually this word expresses moderate hatred, or opposition of mind, not amounting to abhorrence or detestation. It ought generally to be followed by to before the object. [See Averse.] Sometimes it admits of for. A freeholder is bred with an aversion to subjection. – Addison.
  2. Opposition or contrariety of nature; applied to inanimate substances. Magnesia, notwithstanding this aversion to solution, forms a kind of paste with water. – Fourcroy, Trans.
  3. The cause of dislike. Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire. – Pope.

A-VERT', v.i.

To turn away. – Thomson.

A-VERT', v.t. [L. averto, a, from, and verto, to turn, anciently, vorto; hence vertex, vortex, averto; probably allied to L. vario; Eng. veer; Sp. birar; Eth. በረየ bari. Class Br.]

  1. To turn from; to turn off or away; as, to avert the eyes from an object. – Shak.
  2. To keep off, divert or prevent; as, to avert an approaching calamity. – Hooker.
  3. To cause to dislike. – Hooker. But this sense seems to be improper, except when heart or some equivalent word is used; as, to avert the heart or affections, which may signify to alienate the affections. – Thomson.

A-VERT'ED, pp.

Turned from or away.


One that turns away; that which turns away.

A-VERT'ING, ppr.

Turning from; turning away.