mid-15c., averten "to turn (something) aside" (the mind, the attention, etc.), from Old French avertir (later advertir) "to turn, direct; turn aside; make aware, inform" (12c.), from Latin advertere "turn toward, turn to," from ad "toward" (see ad-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). The -d- was restored in English 16c. Especially in speaking or writing, "turn to (a topic) abruptly and plainly" (18c.). Related: Adverted; adverting.