Legal Definition and Related Resources of Average

Meaning of Average

Medium, mean proportion . The term is important in marine law. The mean proportion, or quantity made out of an equal sum. Brisendine v Skousen Bros., 62 P.2d 326, 48 Ariz. 416. The law of general Averages is an important part of marine law. Refers to the equitable principle that where an expense is purposely incurred or sacrifice is made or damage suffered for the safety of a vessel or its cargo or freight , then an equitable adjustment and distribution of the loss shall be made between all interested parties and the loss is proportionately borne by all. The classic example is the case where, in order to save the ship, some of its cargo is thrown overboard; in such a case, the several persons interested in the ship, cargo and freight must contribute rateably to indemnify the person whose goods have been sacrificed against all but his proportion of the general loss. A general average is to be distinguished from particular average in that the latter is an expenditure made for the purpose of forestalling the occurrence of disaster to a particular interest or diminishing the loss resulting therefrom.

Average Alternative Definition

In marine Insurance. Loss or damage to a part of the vessel or cargo insured. The contribution due from one owner to another, on a partial loss. General Average (also called gross) average consists of expense pui posely incurred, sacrifice made, or damage sustained for the common safety of the vessel, freight, and cargo, or the two of them, at risk, and is to be contributed for by the several interests in the proportion of their respective values exposed to the common danger, and ultimately surviving, including the amount of expense, sacrifice or damage so incurred in the contributory value. 2 Phil. Ins. § 1269 et seq.; and see 2 Curt. C. C. (U.S.) 59; 9 Gush. (Mass.) 415; 93 Ky. 102; 5 Ohio, 307; 3 Wall. (U.S.) 370; 3 Kent, Comm. 232. Particular Average (also called partial loss) is an accidental loss on the ship, cargo, or freight, to be borne by the owner of the subject on which it happens, and is so called in distinction from general average, and, if not total, it is also called a partial loss. 2 Phil. Ins. c. 16; 3 Bosw. (N. Y.) 395; 4 B. Men. (Ky.) 164.

Financial Definition of Average

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.

Synonyms of Average

(Midmost), adjective

  • center
  • centermost
  • intermediate
  • mean
  • meanpropor doned
  • medial
  • median
  • mediate
  • medium
  • mid
  • middle
  • middle class
  • middle grade
  • middlemost
  • middling Associated Concepts: average annual earnings or wages
  • average capital
  • average charges
  • average daily attendance
  • average daily balance
  • average daily wage
  • average price
  • average speed
  • average value
  • average weekly wage
  • general average
  • gross average
  • income averaging
  • particular average
  • petty average
  • simple average

(Standard), adjective

  • common
  • commonplace
  • conventional
  • fair
  • mediocre
  • moderate
  • normal
  • normative
  • ordinary
  • passable
  • prosaic
  • stock
  • typical
  • unexceptional
  • unnoteworthy
  • usual
  • Associated Concepts: average man
  • average person
  • average quality

Related Entries of Average in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Average in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Average in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Average in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Average in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Allowance, Composite Account Method, Daily Balances, F.a.a., F.g.a., General Average, Group Insurance, Income Averaging, Malpractice, Mental Retardation, Merchantable, Merchantability, Mortality Tables, Particular Average, Pornographic.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Average in the Dictionary Average in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Average
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Related topics Average in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Average is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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https://legaldictionary.lawin.org/average/ The URI of Average (more about URIs)

English Legal System: Average

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Average :

1. (in marine insurance) A loss or damage arising from an event at sea.

2. A reduction in the amount payable under an insurance policy in respect of a partial loss of property. All marine insurance policies are subject to average under the Marine Insurance Act 1906; other policies may be subject to average if they contain express provision to that effect (an average clause).

In maritime law, the expression general (or gross) average is used in relation to certain acts, to the losses they cause, and to the rights of contribution to which they give rise. A general-average act consists of any sacrifice or expenditure made intentionally and reasonably to preserve property involved in a sea voyage. For example, the jettisoning of some of a ship’s cargo to keep it afloat during a storm is a general-average act. The loss directly resulting from a general-average act is called general-average loss and is borne proportionately by all whose property has been saved. The owner of jettisoned cargo, for example, is entitled to a contribution from other cargo owners as well as the shipowners; such a contribution is called a general-average contributio The principle of general average is common to the laws of all maritime nations, but the detailed rules are not uniform. To overcome conflict of law, a standard set of rules was agreed in the 19th century at international conferences of shipowners and others held at York and Antwerp. These, known as the York-Antwerp rules, do not have the force of law, but it is common practice to incorporate them (as subsequently amended) in contracts of *affreightment, thereby displacing national laws. The basic principle is that an insured who has suffered a general-average loss may recover the whole of it from his underwriters without enforcing his rights to contribution; these become enforceable by the underwriters instead.

By contrast, particular average (also called simple or petty average) relates purely to marine insurance. It consists of any partial loss that is not a general-average loss (for example, the damage of cargo by seawater). It is therefore borne purely by the person suffering it and is frequently covered by a policy only in limited circumstances. A ship sold free from average is free from any claims whatsoever.

Average in Admiralty Law

For information on average in this context, see the entry on average in the maritime law encyclopedia.

Meaning of Average

In this law dictionary, the legal term average is a kind of the Maritime law class.


See Also

  • Shipping
  • Maritime law
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