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[uh-vast, uh-vahst] /əˈvæst, əˈvɑst/
v. imperative, Nautical
(used as a command to stop or cease):
Avast heaving!
1675-85; perhaps < Dutch houd vast hold fast (see hold1, fast1) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for avast
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British Dictionary definitions for avast


sentence substitute
(nautical) stop! cease!
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from Dutch hou'vast hold fast
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 avast

1680s, a nautical interjection, "hold! stop!" probably worn down from Dutch houd vast "hold fast."

AVAST. -- The order to stop, or pause, in any exercise or operation; as Avast heaving -- that is to say, desist, or stop, from drawing in the cable or hawser, by means of the capstan &c. [George Biddlecombe, "The Art of Rigging," 1848]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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