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[uh-veyl] /əˈveɪl/
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.
Origin of avail
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for availed
  • availed of a human body, it can thrive for years on end, foiling the immune system's attempts to squelch it.
  • They had seen specialists and availed themselves of the best kind of medicine possible.
  • Science has availed itself of those tools refined and expanded the models and modified theories.
  • Speaking words of endearment where words of comfort availed not.
  • Her forts, such as they were, would not have availed against any foe more formidable than a light frigate or heavy privateer.
  • The prying little scholar availed himself of this opportunity to examine the cell for a few minutes at his ease.
  • One could hardly call him a crimson macaw among owls, and yet no ordinary contrast availed.
  • Both availed themselves of the family privilege and took jobs in the bank.
  • It was the first real opportunity for enthusiasm, and delegates and spectators availed themselves of it heartily.
  • Appellee has not availed herself of that process and has thus failed to exhaust her administrative remedies.
British Dictionary definitions for availed


to be of use, advantage, profit, or assistance (to)
avail oneself of, to make use of to one's advantage
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 availed



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 availed


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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