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[av-uh-nyoo, -noo] /ˈæv əˌnyu, -ˌnu/
a wide street or main thoroughfare.
a means of access or attainment:
avenues of escape; avenues to greater power.
a way or means of entering into or approaching a place:
the various avenues to India.
Chiefly British.
  1. a wide, usually tree-lined road, path, driveway, etc., through grounds to a country house or monumental building.
  2. a suburban, usually tree-lined residential street.
Origin of avenue
1590-1600; < French, literally, approach, noun use of feminine past participle of avenir < Latin advenīre to come to. See a-5, venue
1. See street. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for avenue
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Rachel followed her, and they walked in silence down the avenue.

    The Voyage Out Virginia Woolf
  • I cannot decide which way to turn to reach Fifth avenue again.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • But there are plenty of other women living miles from anywhere who know what's being worn on Fifth avenue.

    Fanny Herself Edna Ferber
  • Ask your future husband if he knows a girl at 213 —— avenue.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Hare walked down the avenue of cottonwoods and was about to turn the corner of the old forge when he stopped short.

British Dictionary definitions for avenue


  1. a broad street, often lined with trees
  2. (capital as part of a street name) a road, esp in a built-up area: Shaftesbury Avenue
a main approach road, as to a country house
a way bordered by two rows of trees: an avenue of oaks
a line of approach: explore every avenue
Word Origin
C17: from French, from avenir to come to, from Latin advenīre, from venīre to come
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 avenue

c.1600, "a way of approach" (originally a military word), from Middle French avenue "way of access," from Old French avenue "act of approaching, arrival," noun use of fem. of avenu, past participle of avenir "to come to, arrive," from Latin advenire "to come to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + venire "to come" (see venue). Meaning shifted to "a way of approach to a country-house," usually bordered by trees, hence, "a broad, tree-lined roadway" (1650s), then to "wide, main street" (by 1846, especially in U.S.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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