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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.
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 avenues
  • Not surprisingly, something so challenging and so beyond our experience opened up all kinds of unusual avenues of discourse.
  • Oceans and land and sky are avenues for our colossal commerce.
  • Wisdom and honor are the avenues to a happy immortality.
  • But they are thought-provoking enough to suggest other avenues of research.
  • It is important to perform due diligence to understand the different avenues.
  • In some ways the health of a society can be measured by how many avenues to self-importance it opens up.
  • We often want students to think for themselves, to try new avenues, to create their own knowledge.
  • Think about avenues for your development as a scholar.
  • In addition, avenues for highlighting the benefits of our collective work for other disciplines will dwindle.
  • The economic interdependence of our lives needs, but has yet to find, new avenues of expression.
British Dictionary definitions for avenues


  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 avenues



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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