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(1)   Lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly encountered
"Average people"
"The ordinary (or common) man in the street"
(2)   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"
(3)   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"
(4)   Relating to or constituting the middle value of an ordered set of values (or the average of the middle two in a set with an even number of values)
"The median value of 17, 20, and 36 is 20"
"The median income for the year was $15,000"
(5)   Relating to or constituting the most frequent value in a distribution
"The modal age at which American novelists reach their peak is 30"
(6)   Lacking 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"


(7)   A statistic describing the location of a distribution
"It set the norm for American homes"


(8)   Compute the average of
(9)   Achieve or reach on average
"He averaged a C"
(10)   Amount to or come to an average, without loss or gain
"The number of hours I work per work averages out to 40"


From < < < < .


  1. The arithmetic mean.
    The average of 10, 20 and 24 is (10 + 20 + 24)/3 = 18.
  2. Any measure of central tendency, especially any mean, the median, or the mode (see Usage notes below).
  3. An indication of a player's ability calculated from his scoring record, etc.
    batting average

Usage notes

  • The term average may refer to the statistical mean, median or mode of a batch, sample, or distribution, or sometimes any other measure of central tendency. Statisticians and responsible news sources are careful to use whichever of these specific terms is appropriate. In common usage, average refers to the arithmetic mean. It is, however, a common rhetorical trick to call the most favorable of mean, median and mode the "average" depending on the interpretation of a set of figures that the speaker or writer wants to promote.

Coordinate terms

arithmetic mean, geometric mean, harmonic mean, mean, median, mode


average ( more average, most average)
  1. Constituting or relating to the average.
    The average age of the participants was 18.5.
  2. Neither very good nor very bad; rated somewhere in the middle of all others in the same category.
    I soon found I was only an average chess player.
  3. Typical.
    The average family will not need the more expensive features of this product.
  4. Bad or undesirable.


mean; expectation mediocre, medium, middle-ranking, middling, unremarkable, so-so, comme ci comme ├ža conventional, normal, regular, standard, typical, usual, bog-standard


  1. To compute the arithmetic mean of.
    If you average 10, 20 and 24, you get 18.
  2. Over a period of time or across members of a population, to have or generate a mean value of.
    The daily high temperature last month averaged 15C.