Last modified on 20 October 2014, at 14:27

avail

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English vailen (to be of use), from Old French valoir (to be worth), from Latin valeō (I am worth).

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

avail (third-person singular simple present avails, present participle availing, simple past and past participle availed)

  1. (transitive, often reflexive) To turn to the advantage of.
    I availed myself of the opportunity.
  2. (transitive) To be of service to.
    Artifices will not avail the sinner in the day of judgment.
  3. (transitive) To promote; to assist.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)
  4. (intransitive) To be of use or advantage; to answer or serve the purpose; to have strength, force, or efficacy sufficient to accomplish the object.
    The plea in court must avail.
    This scheme will not avail.
    Medicines will not avail to halt the disease.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      Words avail very little with me, young man.
  5. (India, Africa, elsewhere proscribed) To provide; to make available.
    • 2004 November 16, Nik Ogbulie, “Decongesting the Banking Floors”:
      With this initiative, Valucard becomes an open system that is not limited to point of sale (POS) transactions, but now avails cash to its holders in various locations nationwide.

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

avail (plural avails)

  1. (obsolete) Benefit; value, profit; advantage toward success. [15th-19thc.]
    • 1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.II, Ch.ij:
      I shal take the aduenture sayd Balen that god wille ordeyne me / but the swerd ye shalle not haue at this tyme by the feythe of my body / ye shalle repente hit within short tyme sayd the damoysel/ For I wold haue the swerd more for your auaylle than for myne / for I am passyng heuy for your sake
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, III.1:
      hardy Citizens [] sticke not to sacrifice their honours and consciences, as those of old, their lives, for their Countries availe and safety.
    • 1895, Andrew Lang, A Monk of Fife:
      So this friar, unworthy as he was of his holy calling, had me at an avail on every side, nor do I yet see what I could do but obey him, as I did.
  2. Effect in achieving a goal or aim; purpose, use (now usually in negative constructions). [from 15thc.]
    I tried fixing it, to no avail.
    Labor, without economy, is of little avail.
  3. (now only US) Proceeds; profits from business transactions. [from 15thc.]
  4. (obsolete, poetic) Effort; striving.
    • 1613, Thomas Campion, “Songs of Mourning”, in Poetical Works (in English) of Thomas Campion, published 1907, page 125:
      And ev'n now, though he breathless lies, his sails / Are struggling with the winds, for our avails / T'explore a passage hid from human tract, / Will fame him in the enterprise or fact.
  5. (television, advertising) An advertising slot or package.
  6. (US, politics, journalism) A press avail.
    While holding an avail yesterday, the candidate lashed out at critics.
  7. (UK, acting) Non-binding notice of availability for work.
  8. (oil industry) A readily available stock of oil.

Usage notesEdit

  • (success or benefit): Very often encountered in negative phrases, such as of or to no or little avail.

TranslationsEdit