es·chew | \ e-ˈshü , i- ; es-ˈchü , is- ; also e-ˈskyü \
eschewed; eschewing; eschews

Definition of eschew 

transitive verb

: to avoid habitually especially on moral or practical grounds : shun

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Other words from eschew

eschewal \e-ˈshü-əl, i-; es-ˈchü-, is-; alsoe-ˈskyü- \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for eschew

escape, avoid, evade, elude, shun, eschew mean to get away or keep away from something. escape stresses the fact of getting away or being passed by not necessarily through effort or by conscious intent. nothing escapes her sharp eyes avoid stresses forethought and caution in keeping clear of danger or difficulty. try to avoid past errors evade implies adroitness, ingenuity, or lack of scruple in escaping or avoiding. evaded the question by changing the subject elude implies a slippery or baffling quality in the person or thing that escapes. what she sees in him eludes me shun often implies an avoiding as a matter of habitual practice or policy and may imply repugnance or abhorrence. you have shunned your responsibilities eschew implies an avoiding or abstaining from as unwise or distasteful. a playwright who eschews melodrama

Did You Know?

Eschew derives from the Anglo-French verb eschiver and is akin to the Old High German verb sciuhen ("to frighten off"), an ancestor of our word shy. In his famous dictionary of 1755 Dr. Samuel Johnson characterized "eschew" as "almost obsolete." History has proven that the great lexicographer was wrong on that call, however. William Thackeray found "eschew" alive enough to use it almost one hundred years later in his classic novel Vanity Fair: "He has already eschewed green coats, red neckcloths, and other worldly ornaments." The word swelled in usage in English during the 19th and 20th centuries and is now common enough to be included even in small paperback dictionaries.

Examples of eschew in a Sentence

Though a doctor with psychiatric training, he eschewed the science that had so enamored earlier child-rearing professionals … —Sue Halpern, New York Review of Books, 29 May 2003 A fair number of academics eschew the simple title "professor" and call themselves economists, astronomers, historians, philosophers. —Tracy Kidder, Home Town, 1999 When introduced to a stranger, he eschewed formalities, stuck out a gnarled right hand and responded with a chummy, "Hermann." —Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated, 2 Feb. 1998 They now eschew the violence of their past. a psychologist who eschews the traditional methods of psychotherapy
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Recent Examples on the Web

Fifteen years after blasting onto the charts with over-the-top falsetto, body-hugging jumpsuits and hair-metal tomfoolery, the British hard-rock revivalists are back on the UK charts with an accidentally political anthem eschewing public transit. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "8 buzzworthy concerts coming to Charlotte in the next week | Charlotte Observer," 25 Apr. 2018 Indeed, Trump has shown little interest in trying to steer Syria to a resolution of its civil war, eschewing the sort of Geneva diplomacy that consumed Obama’s last secretary of state, John F. Kerry, to little apparent effect. Peter Baker,, "‘Mission accomplished,’ but what is the mission?," 14 Apr. 2018 All three eschewed stopping during the final caution, choosing instead to keep track position. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Formula 1 on ESPN sees massive improvement; IndyCar thrilled in Phoenix," 9 Apr. 2018 Since taking office, Mr. Macron has tried to remain above the political fray, eschewing consensus-building and public debates with the opposition that bogged down his predecessors. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "Macron Tries to Shore Up Support for French Economic Overhaul," 9 July 2018 Elsewhere, the kangaroo in question was nine metres tall (New Zealand, 1831) or eschewed its usual vegetarian diet to kill and eat at least one German shepherd before disappearing (Tennessee, 1934). Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Here Be Tigers," 28 June 2018 Indeed, the hair-extension industry continues to grow, even as there is an uptick in black women (who are believed to account for around 70 percent of the business) embracing their natural hair and eschewing chemical straighteners and texturizers. Noel Cymone Walker, Allure, "Why Wig and Extension Brands Are Turning Their Focus to Hair-Care Analysis," 27 June 2018 The West Coast Light and Space movement was a response to New York Minimalism, when East Coast artists like Donald Judd and Frank Stella eschewed the tumult of abstract expressionism for austere, architectural pieces. Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine, "Tech Meets Fine Art in Larry Bell’s Glass Cubes," 22 June 2018 Its lean cost structure—eschewing high ad spending and a heavy physical retail presence in favour of online sales—had been its competitive advantage. The Economist, "A maverick French telecoms firm attempts Italian conquest," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eschew.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of eschew

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eschew

Middle English, from Anglo-French eschiver (3rd present eschiu) of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German sciuhen to frighten off — more at shy

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Statistics for eschew

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for eschew

The first known use of eschew was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for eschew



English Language Learners Definition of eschew

: to avoid (something) especially because you do not think it is right, proper, etc.

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Comments on eschew

What made you want to look up eschew? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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