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Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.
Carl Jung
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From Middle English vailen (to be of use), from Old French valoir (to be worth), from [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] valeo (to be strong).





avail ({{{1}}})
  1. Benefit; value, profit; advantage toward success.
    Labor, without economy, is of little avail.
  2. Success.
    I tried fixing it, to no avail.
  3. Proceeds.
    The avails of this auction will go to the Cancer Society.
  4. (obsolete) A position of advantage over one's opponent.
    • 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.
  5. (obsolete, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Effort; striving.
    • 1613, Thomas Campion, “Songs of Mourning”, in Poetical Works (in English) of Thomas Campion[1], 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.
  6. (television, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) An unsold, available advertising slot or package.
    • 1994, Barry L. Sherman, Telecommunications Management: Broadcasting/cable and the New Technologies[2], ISBN 0070566984, page 353,  
      The salesperson at an affiliate TV station might prepare an avail which offers two weeks of spots in early and late news []
  7. (television) A timeslot set aside for an advertisement.
    • 2004, Walter S. Ciciora et al., Modern Cable Television Technology: Video, Voice, and Data Communications[3], ISBN 1558608281, page 123,  
      At an avail, the ad server plays out the MPEG-2 audio/video elementary streams.
  8. (US, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) A press avail.
    While holding an avail yesterday, the candidate lashed out at critics.
  9. (UK, acting) Non-binding notice of availability for work.
  10. (oil industry) A readily available stock of oil.
    • 1967, Interstate Compact on Oil and Gas (10th Extension)[4], page 95,  
      Total crude oil avails (production plus purchases) of even highly "self-sufficient" refiners are far greater than their reported refinery inputs.

Usage notes

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



to avail

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to avail (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. (transitive) To turn to the advantage of; to be of service to.
    Artifices will not avail the sinner in the day of judgment.
    I availed myself of the opportunity.
  2. (transitive) To promote; to assist.
  3. (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.
  4. (India, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) To provide.
    • 2004 November 16, Nik Ogbulie, “Decongesting the Banking Floors”[5], This Day, 
      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.

Derived terms


Part or all of this page has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

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