"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-vurt] /əˈvɜrt/
verb (used with object)
to turn away or aside:
to avert one's eyes.
to ward off; prevent:
to avert evil; to avert an accident.
Origin of avert
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French avertirLatin āvertere, equivalent to ā- a-4 + vertere to turn
Related forms
avertedly, adverb
averter, noun
avertible, avertable, adjective
unaverted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for avert
  • If you don't, avert your eyes and avoid the spoilers.
  • Truman ordered the Army to seize control of the nation's railroads to avert a strike.
  • Gradual steps should be taken to avert an abrupt crisis.
  • To avert the tragedy of a repeat performance, both sides need to keep their hardliners in check.
  • The surcharge revenue could be used to reduce many of the proposed cuts, or to avert the worst of them.
  • Those are key areas in which good practices might help avert other violent acts.
  • He bore his part bravely in the contest, but could not avert his destiny.
  • Still, it wasn't enough to avert tragedy.
  • After borrowing billions, colleges rush to avert financial fallout.
  • Altogether, this forested landscape will help the world avert damaging climate change.
British Dictionary definitions for avert


verb (transitive)
to turn away or aside: to avert one's gaze
to ward off; prevent from occurring: to avert danger
Derived Forms
avertible, avertable, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French avertir, from Latin āvertere; see averse
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 avert

c.1400, from Old French avertir (12c.), "turn, direct; avert; make aware," from Vulgar Latin *advertire, from Latin avertere "to turn away, to drive away," from ab- "from, away" (see ab-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Related: Averted; averting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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