[uh-vast, uh-vahst]
v. imperative Nautical.
(used as a command to stop or cease): Avast heaving!

1675–85; perhaps < Dutch houd vast hold fast (see hold1, fast1)

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avast (əˈvɑːst)
sentence substitute
nautical stop! cease!
[C17: perhaps from Dutch hou'vast hold fast]

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

1680s, a nautical interjection, "hold! stop!" probably worn down from Du. houd vast "hold fast."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The scope of the journal covers avast range of crops and research disciplines.
But there is avast difference in our functions--our powers, our procedures, our immediate obJectives.
Visible light represents only a tiny portion of avast radiation spectrum.
Collectively, they possess avast array of knowledge based on experience.
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