An arithmetic mean of selected stocks intended to represent the behavior of the market or some component of it. One good example is the widely quoted Dow Jones Industrial Average, which adds the current prices of the 30 DJIA's stocks, and divides the results by a predetermined number, the divisor. The New York Times Financial Glossary

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I. average av‧e‧rage 1 [ˈævrɪdʒ] adjective [only before a noun]
1. STATISTICS the average amount is the amount you get when you add together several amounts and divide this by the number of amounts you have added together; = MEAN:

• Oil companies are basing their budgets on an average price of $20.40 a barrel.

• The electronics industry has increased output by an average rate of 14% a year.

Average earnings in the state are about $2500 a month.

2. having qualities that are typical of most of the people or things in a group:

• The average employee in Chicago must work 18 minutes to buy a hamburger.

• Coffee production in an average year here totals 450,000 tonnes.

  [m0] II. average average 2 noun
1. [countable] STATISTICS the amount calculated by adding together several amounts, and then dividing this amount by the total number of amounts added together:

• Sales in the various markets improved by an average of 40% last year.

ˌmoving ˈaverage
[countable] STATISTICS an average of figures from a certain number of the most recent previous periods of time. For example, the average for the most recent 12-month period is re-calculated every month, with the latest month's figure replacing the first month from the previous series
ˌweighted ˈaverage [countable] STATISTICS
an average calculated by giving more value to some figures than others, depending on their relative importance:

• Its weighted average of Dutch company earnings fell 2%.

• The weighted average term of the bonds is 1.71 years.

2. on average based on a calculation of how many times something happens, how much money someone usually gets, how often people usually do something etc:

• On average, people in their 50s require 45% more drug prescriptions than people in their 30s.

• Visitors to Legoland on average spend $26 each.

3. [countable, uncountable] the usual level or amount for most people or things in a group:

• Employee pay and benefits are above average here.

• Stockmarket volume was below average at 12.1 million shares traded.

• Tea productivity in Assam is over 2,000 kg a hectare, compared with a national average in India of 1,790 kg a hectare.

4. [countable usually singular] FINANCE a list of shares on a stock market, showing the general level of shares at a particular moment; = INDEX:

• The industrial average (= shares in industrial companies on a particular stockmarket ) surged 535.17 points, or 20.3%.

ˌDow Jones ˈaverages [plural] FINANCE
a number of Share showing the performance of company shares on the New York Stock Exchange:

• We normally remove a stock from the Dow Jones Averages whenever the company enters bankruptcy proceedings.

ˌDow Jones Inˌdustrial ˈAverage trademark abbreviation DJIA [singular] FINANCE
a share index of about 30 leading companies, whose movements show the direction of the New York stockmarket as a whole. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is the most important index, often referred to as the Dow Jones:

• The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 147.49, a loss of 1.41%.

ˌDow Jones Transporˈtation ˌAverage trademark abbreviation DJTA [singular] FINANCE TRANSPORT
a share index of 20 companies involved in the moving, storing, and selling of goods:

• Rises among airline stocks sent the Dow Jones Transportation Average more than 1.2% ahead at 3,359.

ˌDow Jones Uˈtilities ˌAverage trademark abbreviation DJUA [singular] FINANCE ECONOMICS
a share index of electricity, gas, and water companies. The movement of their shares is seen as a sign of the way interest rates may develop. These companies are big borrowers and, when interest rates go down, their results improve:

• The Dow Jones Utilities Average rose 2.89 points yesterday to 212.90, which many traders interpret as signaling lower interest rates ahead.

ˌNikkei ˈaverage also ˌNikkei ˈindex [singular] FINANCE
the main share index of shares in companies on the Tokyo stockmarket:

• The Nikkei index fell by 40% during the year.

5. [uncountable] INSURANCE a loss relating to damage to a ship or the cargo (= goods it is carrying)
ˌgeneral ˈaverage [uncountable] INSURANCE
when the owner of a ship and the owner of the cargo share the cost of a loss caused by doing something to save either the ship or the goods:

• The losses were shared by the shippers as `general average' losses.

parˌticular ˈaverage [uncountable]
INSURANCE the cost of damage to or loss of a ship or the cargo it is carrying, paid to the owner of the goods actually damaged; = PARTIAL LOSS — see also free of particular average
  [m0] III. average average 3 verb
1. [transitive] if something averages a particular amount or rate, that is its average amount or rate:

• In Europe, budget deficits average 5% of GDP.

• The store is averaging sales of $300,000 on an annual basis.

2. to calculate the average of a number of amounts:

• The new system works by averaging the payments made to local authorities.

average out phrasal verb
1. [transitive] average something → out to calculate the average of a number of amounts:

• They were found to earn only £60 a week when their seasonal and casual earnings were averaged out.

2. average out at/​to something if something averages out at a particular amount or rate, that is its average amount or rate:

• Our training costs last year averaged out at £5,100 per trainee.

• Basketball players' salaries average out at $3.3 million.

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[C] the result that you get by adding two or more amounts together and dividing this total by the number of amounts: daily/monthly/quarterly average »

Trading was 297 million shares, down from the three-month daily average of 313 million shares.


The state's unemployment rate remained well below the national average of 5.7 percent.

an average of »

Its economy has grown at an annual average of 3.6% for the past seven years.


Regulators are careful to stress that the performance figures are only averages - some companies performed better.

Compare MEAN(Cf. ↑mean), MEDIAN(Cf. ↑median), MODE(Cf. ↑mode)
[C or U] a level or standard that is considered to be typical for a particular place, group of people, type of business, etc.: above/below (the) average »

Our companies' profitability is above the sector average.


Most of these businesses match industry averages in job creation.

[U] INSURANCE PARTIAL LOSS(Cf. ↑partial loss)
STOCK MARKET an average that is based on a particular group of companies' shares, which is used to represent changes in the stock market or to show which types of businesses are getting the most investors: »

the industrial average

on average — Cf. on average
See also THE DOW JONES AVERAGES™(Cf. ↑the Dow Jones Averages™), THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE(Cf. ↑the Dow Jones Industrial Average), THE DOW JONES TRANSPORTATION AVERAGE(Cf. ↑the Dow Jones Transportation Average), FREE OF PARTICULAR AVERAGE(Cf. ↑free of particular average), GENERAL AVERAGE(Cf. ↑general average), MARKET AVERAGE(Cf. ↑market average), MOVING AVERAGE(Cf. ↑moving average), PARTICULAR AVERAGE(Cf. ↑particular average), WEIGHTED AVERAGE(Cf. ↑weighted average)
average UK US /ˈævərɪdʒ/ adjective
used to describe an amount that you get by adding two or more amounts together and then dividing by the number of amounts: average price/cost/value »

Price rises were strong in Wales, where the average cost of a property jumped by 31.8%.

average age/speed/rate »

The average age of the 'Times' reader is fairly low at 42.

typical and usual: »

The cost of health insurance has risen above the means of the average worker.

not bad, but not excellent either: »

Despite high expectations, sales levels last quarter were only average.

average UK US /ˈævərɪdʒ/ verb [T]
to equal a particular rate or amount as an average: »

Traffic on its free website averages about 10,000 visitors a month.

to calculate the average amount of something by adding all the amounts together and then dividing this by the number of amounts: »

Each quarter, the magazine polls a group of forecasters and averages their predictions for economic growth.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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