The Meaning of Avail: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of avail? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word avail, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word avail mean?

According to the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and Collins English Dictionary, the word avail can either be used as a noun or a transitive verb. As a noun, the word avail refers to an effective use or help, an advantage, or archaically, profits or net proceeds. This word is often used in the phrases of no avail, to no avail and to avail oneself of. As a verb, the word avail means to be of use or advantage to, to help for accomplishing an end. The word avail can also be used as a shorthand way of saying available or availability. 

According to Definitions, Avail is also an American punk rock band from Richmond, Virginia. The band’s members are Joe Banks, Doug Crosby, Brien Stewart, and Mikey Warstler. Banks later teamed up with rival band LDK’s Tim Barry after the band formed in 1987 disbanded. Guitar player Joe Banks was the only original remaining member on the rest of the studio albums. Later, Barry and Banks moved to Richmond from Reston in 1990, after numerous line up changes, put together a solid lineup to release their first album “Satiate” in 1992. They have not released new material or played live since 2008.

The word avail has translations in many different languages. Take a look at this list of translations of avail from Word Sense. You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words share a root or language of origin.

  •  Spanish: servir‎
  •  Dutch: dienen‎
  •  Bulgarian: служа‎ (služa), послужа‎ (posluža), допринасям‎ (doprinasjam), допринеса‎ (doprinesa)
  •  Portuguese: adiantar‎
  •  French: servir‎
  •  Finnish: hyödyttää‎, auttaa‎
  •  Armenian: նպաստել‎, օգնել‎
  •  German: helfen‎, nützen‎
  •  Russian: помога́ть‎ (impf), помо́чь‎ (pf), приноси́ть по́льзу‎

What is the word origin of avail?

According to Etymonline, the word avail has been used since the Middle English availe, Middle English availen and intensive pref Middle English vailen. This word comes from the Old French valoir, Old French vail Anglo-French availler, Latin valēre, Latin valeo, Latin valer, Latin valere, and Latin valoir. This was once the obsolete vail. This word is of Indo-European roots, namely wal.

How can the word avail be used in a sentence?

Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try to make flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge of different definitions. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are some different examples of the word avail to help get you started. 

The sinner’s plea would be of no avail on the day of judgment according to the hostile onslaught of negative constructions and artifices the protestors lobbed at him.

The belated help was of no avail in her achievement of a goal to reach the top of Everest. The medicine and available resources could barely keep her alive coming down the mountain.

The facilities manager offered the employee who had just been fired some office supplies which are of no avail to him, considering he no longer has an office.

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word avail?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word avail. These are called synonyms. Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same definition as another given word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to expand your English language vocabulary. Take a look at the below list of synonyms of avail from Power Thesaurus.

  •  support
  •  service
  •  pay off
  •  relief
  •  helpfulness
  •  mileage
  •  advantages
  •  helping
  •  behoof
  •  benefit
  •  further
  •  conduce
  •  fitness
  •  worth
  •  meet requirements
  •  assistance
  •  well-being
  •  fill
  •  advance
  •  cut it
  •  furtherance
  •  significance
  •  be good enough
  •  sustain
  •  do the trick
  •  satisfy
  •  succour
  •  bring home the bacon
  •  gain
  •  servicing
  •  aid
  •  improve
  •  merit
  •  profit
  •  abet
  •  serve
  •  boon
  •  perks
  •  promote
  •  score
  •  hack it
  •  hit the mark
  •  profits
  •  employ
  •  bestead
  •  convenience
  •  helped
  •  fulfill
  •  utilize
  •  do
  •  make the grade
  •  pull it off
  •  be good enough for
  •  be of use
  •  answer the purpose
  •  be useful
  •  be adequate
  •  work for
  •  purpose
  •  meet
  •  accommodate
  •  use
  •  utilities
  •  be successful
  •  services
  •  advantage
  •  boot
  •  remedy
  •  be of service
  •  be sufficient
  •  assist
  •  serviceability
  •  do duty as
  •  suffice
  •  work
  •  applicability
  •  succor
  •  do for one
  •  succeed
  •  good
  •  value
  •  blessing
  •  interest
  •  better
  •  productiveness
  •  moment
  •  ease
  •  usefulness
  •  utility
  •  fill the bill
  •  help
  •  contribute
  •  efficacy
  •  comfort
  •  favor
  •  point
  •  serve the purpose
  •  answer
  •  account
  •  pay

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning of the word avail. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  exterminate
  •  fatal accident
  •  foil
  •  frustrate
  •  frustration
  •  go wrong
  •  halt
  •  have a butcher’s hook
  •  heavy loss
  •  hide
  •  hinder
  •  hinderance
  •  ignore
  •  impair
  •  impede
  •  impediment
  •  increase
  •  inhibit
  •  inhibition
  •  inhibitor
  •  injure
  •  interference
  •  intervention
  •  irritant
  •  irritate
  •  let
  •  liability
  •  management
  •  manager
  •  minus
  •  nasty shock
  •  negative effect
  •  negative effects
  •  negative outcome
  •  neglect
  •  obstacle
  •  obstruct
  •  obstruction
  •  opponent
  •  oppose
  •  opposition
  •  ownership
  •  penalize
  •  prejudice
  •  prevent
  •  prevention
  •  problem
  •  protest
  •  refuse
  •  repression

Overall, the word avail means different things as a noun and as a transitive verb. As a noun the word avail can refer to an advantage or help. As a verb, the word avail can be used to mean to help, to be of use, or to give someone or something an advantage to for the purposes of accomplishing an end. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today!


  1. Avail definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. avail: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Avail synonyms – 1 063 Words and Phrases for Avail | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Avail antonyms – 179 Opposites of Avail | Power Thesaurus 
  5. What does AVAIL mean? | Definitions 
  6. avail | Origin and meaning of avail | Online Etymology Dictionary