• IPA: /əˈveɪl/

avail (avails, present participle availing; 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.
  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.
  5. (India, Africa, elsewhere proscribed) To provide; to make available.
Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: соде́йствовать
  • Portuguese: adiantar
  • Russian: быть полезный

avail (plural avails)

  1. 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.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗, page 071 ↗:
      Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill.
    • 2014, Paul Doyle, "Southampton hammer eight past hapless Sunderland in barmy encounter ↗", The Guardian, 18 October:
      At half-time, Poyet replaced Wes Brown with Liam Bridcutt in the heart of defence and sent out the rest of the players to atone for their first-half mistakes. To no avail.
  2. (now only US) Proceeds; profits from business transactions. [from 15thc.]
    • the avails of their own industry
  3. (television, advertising) An advertising slot or package.
  4. (US, politics, journalism) A press avail.
    While holding an avail yesterday, the candidate lashed out at critics.
  5. (British, acting) Non-binding notice of availability for work.
  6. (oil industry) A readily available stock of oil.
  7. (obsolete) Benefit; value, profit; advantage toward success. [15th-19thc.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, [http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/MaloryWks2/1:4.2?rgn=div2;view=fulltext chapter ij], in Le Morte Darthur, book II:
      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, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 1, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book III, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      hardy Citizens […] sticke not to sacrifice their honours and consciences, as those of old, their lives, for their Countries availe and safety.
  8. (obsolete, poetic) Effort; striving.

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