Average, avaria and avars

average ‎(plural averages)
  1. (law, marine) Financial loss due to damage to transported goods; compensation for damage or loss. [From 15th C.] 
  2. Customs duty or similar charge payable on transported goods.
  3. Proportional or equitable distribution of financial expense.
  4. (mathematics) The arithmetic mean
    The average of 10, 20 and 24 is (10 + 20 + 24)/3 = 18.

  5. (statistics) Any measure of central tendency, especially any mean, the median, or the mode[from 1735]

  6. (sports) An indication of a player's ability calculated from his scoring record, etc.
    batting average

  7. (Britain, in the plural) In the corn trade, the medial price of the several kinds of grain in the principal corn markets.

Usage notes
  • (mathematics, statistics): The term average may refer to the statistical meanmedian or mode of a batch, sample, or distribution, or sometimes any other measure of central tendency. Statisticians and responsible news sources are careful to use whichever of these specific terms is appropriate. In common usage, average refers to the arithmetic mean. It is, however, a common rhetorical trick to call the most favorable of mean, median and mode the "average" depending on the interpretation of a set of figures that the speaker or writer wants to promote.


From Old French avarie, from Old Italian avaria (which possibly from Arabic عَوَارِيَّة ‎(ʿawāriyyadamaged goods), from عَوَار ‎(ʿawārfault, blemish, defect, flaw), from عَوِرَ ‎(ʿawirato lose an eye)) + English suffix -age.


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