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to turn away or aside:
to avert one’s eyes.
to ward off; prevent:
to avert evil; to avert an accident.
Contemporary Examples

Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted.
Obama’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech Barack Obama December 9, 2009

Second, he could follow the great tradition of past Speakers and look across the aisle for the votes to avert disaster.
To Be or Not To Be…A Loser: Boehner’s Hamlet Moment Joe McLean October 3, 2013

Sometimes, you have to push an ugly non-violent solution aggressively to avert the worse, violent option.
Blockade Gaza, Seize Territory Gil Troy November 12, 2012

This is pretty close to a circular firing squad as Boehner scrambles to find 218 votes to avert fiscal Armaggeddon.
GOP’s Circular Firing Squad Howard Kurtz July 26, 2011

That is the nightmare scenario that Lanier knows all the good will she has built may not be able to avert.
D.C.’s Police Bond With Protesters Eleanor Clift October 18, 2011

Historical Examples

I am now happy, if by my death, as by my life, I can avert from her evil that otherwise might overtake her.
Zenobia William Ware

If they tremble down the fine-skinned cheek, let us avert our gaze.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

From that fate in the end only Lynborough himself could rescue her; only the man who threatened her with it could avert it.
Helena’s Path Anthony Hope

I did all that in honor could be done to avert the war, but without avail.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

The steersman whirled his wheel swiftly in the apparent endeavor to avert a collision.
Jim Spurling, Fisherman Albert Walter Tolman

verb (transitive)
to turn away or aside: to avert one’s gaze
to ward off; prevent from occurring: to avert danger

c.1400, from Old French avertir (12c.), “turn, direct; avert; make aware,” from Vulgar Latin *advertire, from Latin avertere “to turn away, to drive away,” from ab- “from, away” (see ab-) + vertere “to turn” (see versus). Related: Averted; averting.


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