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avert (verb) prevent (something bad from happening); to turn away.
When you avert something, you stop something, usually bad, from happening. You avert an accident, if you stop it from happening. If by your timely intervention, you stop a fight about to take place between two people, you avert the fight. Timely rains avert a drought. Dams across rivers avert floods. 'Avert' is also to turn away one's eyes, or face away, usually from unpleasant and shocking sights. For example, when there is an accident crushing a person to death, you turn your eyes away because you cannot bear to see it. That is, you avert your eyes from it. Similarly, you turn your gaze from a scene if it is unpleasant. That is, you turn your eyes away to avoid seeing it. A person might turn away their face if they are unwilling to meet a person they do not like. In such cases they avert their face.
- The alertness of the truck driver averted a head-on collision between the truck and the car, and that saved the lives of all those in the car.
- When Jane saw Jerry at the party, she averted her eyes from him, no longer willing to continue her affair with him because he suggested that they postpone their marriage.