es·​chew | \ e-ˈshü How to pronounce eschew (audio) , i-; es-ˈchü How to pronounce eschew (audio) , 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 How to pronounce eschew (audio) , i-​ ; es-​ˈchü-​ , is-​ ; also  e-​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 The interior appointments are leather-free, and all future pure electric Volvos will eschew leather as well. Los Angeles Times, "Will electric crossovers like Volvo’s C40 be the key to mass EV adoption?," 2 Mar. 2021 After all, these folks are a discerning lot who would generally eschew the idea of working for a bank. Mindy Diamond, Forbes, "First Republic Private Wealth Management And Rockefeller Capital Management: What Makes Them So Appealing To Top Financial Advisors?," 19 Mar. 2021 The beauty brand Faculty was founded in 2019 by Umar ElBably and Fenton Jagdeo with the idea of creating a cosmetics company for men that would eschew traditional notions of masculinity. Benoît Loiseau, New York Times, "The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week," 5 Nov. 2020 The analogous trends may be about ease, but, Williams-Eke cautions, to eschew the fine line between Athflow and traditional loungewear, fit must always come first. Amanda Randone,, "What’s Athflow? Everything To Know About 2021’s Newest Loungewear Trend," 18 Jan. 2021 Like much of the state and country, health officials point to pandemic fatigue causing many to eschew safety protocols and restrictions. Kellie Hwang,, "Charts show why S.F. is at opposite end of coronavirus tier system from L.A., San Diego," 12 Nov. 2020 Francis' decision to eschew the mask drew criticism on social media and concern from within the Vatican. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "Pope ends public audiences, eyes Christmas as virus surges," 29 Oct. 2020 Herrell's and Malliotakis’s desire to focus only on politics after a presidential election in which voters seemed to eschew identity politics is likely a smart play. Nicole Russell, Washington Examiner, "Year of the Republican woman," 19 Nov. 2020 In Florida, a state health officer urged residents to eschew children’s birthday parties after half the 30 attendees of a sweet 16 gathering contracted the virus. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: A tale of two testing lines," 26 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for eschew

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

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Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eschew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for eschew



English Language Learners Definition of eschew

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

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