AskDefine | Define avert

Dictionary Definition



1 prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening; "Let's avoid a confrontation"; "head off a confrontation"; "avert a strike" [syn: debar, obviate, deflect, head off, stave off, fend off, avoid, ward off]
2 turn away or aside; "They averted their eyes when the King entered" [syn: turn away]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin avertere; a, ab + vertere to turn. Compare Old French avertir. See verse (nous).


  1. To turn aside, or away
    To avert the eyes from an object.
  2. To ward off, or prevent, the occurrence or effects of
    How can the danger be averted?
  3. intransitive archaic To turn away.
    • Cold and averting from our neighbor's good. - Thomson.


  • To avert his ire. - Milton
  • When atheists and profane persons do hear of so many discordant and contrary opinions in religion, it doth avert them from the church. - Bacon.
  • Till ardent prayer averts the public woe. - Prior.


to turn aside
  • Greek: αποστρέφω
to ward off
  • Czech: odvrátit
  • German: abwenden
  • Greek: αποτρέπω



Latin apertus



Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

about-face, anticipate, balk, bar, bear off, check, debar, deflect, deter, discourage, dishearten, divert, draw aside, ease off, edge off, estop, exclude, face about, fend, fend off, fly off, foil, forbid, foreclose, forestall, frustrate, gee, glance, glance off, go off, halt, haw, head off, help, jib, keep from, keep off, make way for, move aside, obviate, pivot, preclude, prevent, prohibit, remove, repel, right-about-face, rule out, save, sheer, sheer off, shove aside, shunt, shy, shy off, side, sidestep, sidetrack, sidle, stave off, stay, steer clear of, step aside, stop, switch, thwart, transfer, turn aside, turn away, turn back, veer, veer off, volte-face, ward, ward off, wheel, whip, whirl
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