# average

## Definitions

### General Science

• verb to produce as an average figure

### Accounting

• noun the sharing of the cost of damage or loss of a ship between the insurers and the owners
• verb to work out an average figure for something

### Banking

• verb to amount to something when the average of a set of figures is worked out

### Cars & Driving

• verb to achieve a certain mean value or rate

### Cricket

• noun the arithmetic mean of a batsman’s scores during a given period (such as a season or an entire career) and at a given level (such as first-class, Test, or one-day games), calculated by dividing the total number of runs he has scored by the number of times he has been dismissed. Thus, Sir Donald Bradman’s career batting average in Test cricket is 99.94, arrived at by dividing his aggregate score (6996 runs) by the number of times he was out (70). This is conventionally shown in tabular form, thus:middle"> M I NO R HS A (matches) (innings) (times not out) (runs) (highers score) average 52 80 10 6996 334 99.4
Additional information is often supplied, such as the batsman’s strike rate or the number of hundreds and fifties he has scored.
• noun the mean number of runs that have been scored off a bowler’s bowling for each wicket he has taken during a given period and at a given level, calculated by dividing the total number of runs scored off his bowling by the total number of wickets he has taken. Thus, Sir Richard Hadlee’s career bowling average in Test cricket is 22.29, arrived at by dividing the number of runs scored off him (9611) by the number of wickets he took (431). This is conventionally shown in tabular form with figures for matches played, overs or balls bowled, maidens bowled, runs scored, and wickets taken. Additional information is often supplied, such as the bowler’s strike rate and economy or the number of times he has taken five wickets in an innings.

### Economics

• adjective representing the total number divided by the number of units

### Electronics

• The value obtained by first adding together a set of quantities, and then dividing by the number of quantities in the set. Also called average value (1), arithmetic mean, or mean (1).

### Medical

• noun the usual amount, size, rate, etc.

### Sports

• noun a measure of a player’s or team’s achievement, reached by dividing the number of opportunities for successful performances by how many times a successful performance was achieved

### Agriculture

• symbolR
(written as Average)

## Origin & History of “average”

The word average has a devious history. It began in Arabic, as ‘awārīya, the plural of ‘awār, a noun derived from the verbāra ‘mutilate’; this was used as a commercial term, denoting ‘damaged merchandise’. The first European language to adopt it was Italian, as avaria, and it passed via Old French avarie into English (where in the 16th century it acquired its -age ending, probably by association with the then semantically similar damage). Already by this time it had come to signify the ‘financial loss incurred through damage to goods in transit’, and this passed in the 17th century to the ‘equal sharing of such loss by those with a financial interest in the goods’, and eventually, in the 18th century, to the current (mathematical and general) sense of ‘mean’.
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