Definition of avail in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈvāl/


1 (avail oneself of) Use or take advantage of (an opportunity or available resource): my daughter did not avail herself of my advice
More example sentences
  • There is a nature trail in the community near my home, which I avail myself of at every opportunity.
  • After the refreshments, the general public were admitted to the field with between 5,000 and 6,000 availing themselves of the opportunity of being present.
  • The visitors were availing themselves of the opportunity to discover the multi-faceted profile of the nation's premier organisation.
use, take advantage of, utilize, employ
2Help or benefit: [with object]: no amount of struggle availed Charles [no object]: the dark and narrow hiding place did not avail to save the fugitives
More example sentences
  • But their wealth avails them not at all this time.
  • This time around, Daffy seems to realize he's losing the game, but all of his extra caution avails him naught.
  • Of course, none of this careful planning avails me in the slightest if I don't manage to actually write anything.
help, aid, assist, benefit, profit, be of service to



avail someone nothing

archaic (Of an action) be of no help at all to someone: this protest availed her nothing
More example sentences
  • I would suggest that his flying start to war has availed him nothing but the intensified scorn of the nation.
  • ‘It withered my heart,’ he wrote in his diary, but his presence could avail her nothing now.
  • Such rights may have availed us nothing, had the client run into financial difficulties.

of little (or no) avail

Not very (or not at all) effective or successful: Latin was of little avail in the practical affairs of life
More example sentences
  • I was consulted by a young woman labouring under symptoms of diseased heart, and in whose case the application of the hand was of little avail on account of fatness.
  • It is evident that the many efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy in East Lancashire have been of little avail when the rate remains among the highest in the country.
  • Habits of thought and action formed this way are of little avail when we are confronted with tasks in which our social standing cannot influence the outcome of the act.

to little (or no) avail

With little (or no) success or benefit: he tried to get his work recognized, but to little avail
More example sentences
  • I've spent 45 minutes trying to get my email to little avail.
  • The county never stopped pumping throughout Jeanne's stay, but to little avail.
  • At the time, the International Monetary Fund and Western commercial banks rushed in to shore up investor confidence - apparently to little avail.


Middle English: from obsolete vail 'be of use or value' (apparently on the pattern of pairs such as amount, mount), from Old French valoir, from Latin valere 'be strong, be of value'.

Words that rhyme with avail

ail, ale, assail, bail, bale, bewail, brail, Braille, chain mail, countervail, curtail, dale, downscale, drail, dwale, entail, exhale, fail, faille, flail, frail, Gael, Gail, gale, Grail, grisaille, hail, hale, impale, jail, kale, mail, male, webmail, nonpareil, outsail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sail, sale, sangrail, scale, shale, snail, stale, swale, tail, tale, they'll, trail, upscale, vail, vale, veil, surveil, wail, wale, whale, Yale

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·vail

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