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Source : Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Average \Av"er*age\, n. [OF. average, LL. averagium, prob. fr.
   OF. aver, F. avoir, property, horses, cattle, etc.; prop.
   infin., to have, from L. habere to have. Cf. F. av['e]rage
   small cattle, and avarie (perh. of different origin) damage
   to ship or cargo, port dues. The first meaning was perh. the
   service of carting a feudal lord's wheat, then charge for
   carriage, the contribution towards loss of things carried, in
   proportion to the amount of each person's property. Cf.
   {Aver}, n., {Avercorn}, {Averpenny}.]
   1. (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.

   2. [Cf. F. avarie damage to ship or cargo.] (Com.)
      (a) A tariff or duty on goods, etc. [Obs.]
      (b) Any charge in addition to the regular charge for
          freight of goods shipped.
      (c) A contribution to a loss or charge which has been
          imposed upon one of several for the general benefit;
          damage done by sea perils.
      (d) The equitable and proportionate distribution of loss
          or expense among all interested.

   {General average}, 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. --Kent.

   {Particular average} 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.

   {Petty averages} 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.
      --Arnould. --Abbott. --Phillips.

   3. A mean proportion, medial sum or quantity, made out of
      unequal sums or quantities; an arithmetical mean. Thus, if
      A loses 5 dollars, B 9, and C 16, the sum is 30, and the
      average 10.

   4. Any medial estimate or general statement derived from a
      comparison of diverse specific cases; a medium or usual
      size, quantity, quality, rate, etc. ``The average of
      sensations.'' --Paley.

   5. pl. In the English corn trade, the medial price of the
      several kinds of grain in the principal corn markets.

   {On an average}, taking the mean of unequal numbers or

Average \Av"er*age\, a.
   1. Pertaining to an average or mean; medial; containing a
      mean proportion; of a mean size, quality, ability, etc.;
      ordinary; usual; as, an average rate of profit; an average
      amount of rain; the average Englishman; beings of the
      average stamp.

   2. According to the laws of averages; as, the loss must be
      made good by average contribution.

Average \Av"er*age\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Averaged} (?); p. pr.
   & vb. n. {Averaging}.]
   1. To find the mean of, when sums or quantities are unequal;
      to reduce to a mean.

   2. To divide among a number, according to a given proportion;
      as, to average a loss.

   3. To do, accomplish, get, etc., on an average.

Average \Av"er*age\, v. i.
   To form, or exist in, a mean or medial sum or quantity; to
   amount to, or to be, on an average; as, the losses of the
   owners will average twenty five dollars each; these spars
   average ten feet in length.

Source : WordNet®

     n : a statistic describing the location of a distribution; "it
         set the norm for American homes" [syn: {norm}]

     adj 1: approximating the statistical norm or average or expected
            value; "the average income in New England is below
            that of the nation"; "of average height for his age";
            "the mean annual rainfall" [syn: {mean(a)}]
     2: lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly
        encountered; "average people"; "the ordinary (or common)
        man in the street" [syn: {ordinary}]
     3: of no exceptional quality or ability; "a novel of average
        merit"; "only a fair performance of the sonata"; "in fair
        health"; "the caliber of the students has gone from
        mediocre to above average"; "the performance was middling
        at best" [syn: {fair}, {mediocre}, {middling}]
     4: around the middle of a scale of evaluation of physical
        measures; "an orange of average size"; "intermediate
        capacity"; "a plane with intermediate range"; "medium
        bombers" [syn: {intermediate}, {medium}]
     5: relating to or constituting the most frequent value in a
        distribution; "the modal age at which American novelists
        reach their peak is 30" [syn: {modal(a)}]
     6: relating to or constituting the middle value of an ordered
        set of values (or the average of the middle two in an
        even-numbered set); "the median value of 17, 20, and 36 is
        20"; "the median income for the year was $15,000" [syn: {median(a)}]

     v 1: amount to or come to an average, without loss or gain; "The
          number of hours I work per work averages out to 40"
          [syn: {average out}]
     2: achieve or reach on average; "He averaged a C"
     3: compute the average of [syn: {average out}]
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