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avail

[uh-veyl] /əˈveɪl/
verb (used with object)
1.
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)
2.
to be of use; have force or efficacy; serve; help:
His strength did not avail against the hostile onslaught.
3.
to be of value or profit.
noun
4.
advantage; use; efficacy; effective use in the achievement of a goal or objective:
His belated help will be of little or no avail.
5.
avails, Archaic. profits or proceeds.
Idioms
6.
avail oneself of, to use to one's advantage:
They availed themselves of the opportunity to hear a free concert.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English availe, equivalent to a- a-2 + vaile < Old French vail- (stem of valoir) < Latin valēre to be of worth
Related forms
availingly, adverb
unavailed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for avail
  • 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.
  • The drapes stay closed to ward off distractions, but to little avail.
  • The rhetoric of higher-education lobbying about the personal advantages of getting a college degree won't avail.
  • Relief workers and police beat them back with sticks, to little avail.
  • He did apply to history programs as well, to no avail.
  • They knew the true Prussian way of whimpering when bullying did not avail them.
  • Sidney began searching the shelves for the brand of baked potato chips she said she was looking for, but to no avail.
British Dictionary definitions for avail

avail

/əˈveɪl/
verb
1.
to be of use, advantage, profit, or assistance (to)
2.
avail oneself of, to make use of to one's advantage
noun
3.
use or advantage (esp in the phrases of no avail, to little avail)
Derived Forms
availingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13 availen, from vailen, from Old French valoir, from Latin valēre to be strong, prevail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for avail
v.

c.1300, availen, apparently a French compound formed in English from Old French a- "to" (see ad-) + vailen "to avail," from vaill-, present stem of valoir "be worth," from Latin valere (see valiant). Related: Availed; availing. As a noun, from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with avail

avail

In addition to the idiom beginning with avail also see: to no avail
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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