verb (used with object)
to be of use or value to; profit; advantage: All our efforts availed us little in trying to effect a change.
verb (used without object)
to be of use; have force or efficacy; serve; help: His strength did not avail against the hostile onslaught.
to be of value or profit.
advantage; use; efficacy; effective use in the achievement of a goal or objective: His belated help will be of little or no avail.
avails, Archaic. profits or proceeds.
avail oneself of, to use to one's advantage: They availed themselves of the opportunity to hear a free concert.

1250–1300; Middle English availe, equivalent to a- a-2 + vaile < Old French vail- (stem of valoir) < Latin valēre to be of worth

availingly, adverb
unavailed, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
avail (əˈveɪl)
1.  to be of use, advantage, profit, or assistance (to)
2.  avail oneself of to make use of to one's advantage
3.  use or advantage (esp in the phrases of no avail, to little avail)
[C13 availen, from vailen, from Old French valoir, from Latin valēre to be strong, prevail]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, availen, from O.Fr. a- "to" + vailen "to avail," from vaill-, present stem of valoir "be worth," from L. valere (see valiant). Availing, pp. adj., "advantageous" is from early 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with avail, also see to no avail.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Do not avail yourself of any of the scientific benefits either.
Whether he will avail himself of the newer treatments hasn't been decided.
Local police scrambled for clues, but to no avail.
Nor helm nor steersman here can aught avail.
Idioms & Phrases
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