verb (used with object)

  1. to be of use or value to; profit; advantage: All our efforts availed us little in trying to effect a change.

verb (used without object)

  1. to be of use; have force or efficacy; serve; help: His strength did not avail against the hostile onslaught.
  2. to be of value or profit.


  1. advantage; use; efficacy; effective use in the achievement of a goal or objective: His belated help will be of little or no avail.
  2. avails, Archaic. profits or proceeds.


  1. avail oneself of, to use to one’s advantage: They availed themselves of the opportunity to hear a free concert.


  1. to be of use, advantage, profit, or assistance (to)
  2. avail oneself of to make use of to one’s advantage


  1. use or advantage (esp in the phrases of no avail, to little avail)

v.c.1300, availen, apparently a French compound formed in English from Old French a- “to” (see ad-) + vailen “to avail,” from vaill-, present stem of valoir “be worth,” from Latin valere (see valiant). Related: Availed; availing. As a noun, from c.1400. In addition to the idiom beginning with avail

  • avail oneself of
  • also see:

  • to no avail
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