avoid

verb
\ ə-ˈvȯid How to pronounce avoid (audio) \
avoided; avoiding; avoids

Definition of avoid

transitive verb

1a : to keep away from : shun They have been avoiding me.
b : to prevent the occurrence or effectiveness of avoid further delays
c : to refrain from avoid overeating
2 law : to make legally void (see void entry 1 sense 1a) : annul avoid a plea
3 archaic : to depart or withdraw from : leave
4 obsolete : void, expel

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Other Words from avoid

avoidable \ ə-​ˈvȯi-​də-​bəl How to pronounce avoidable (audio) \ adjective
avoidably \ ə-​ˈvȯi-​də-​blē How to pronounce avoidably (audio) \ adverb
avoider noun

Choose the Right Synonym for avoid

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

Examples of avoid in a Sentence

Why do you keep avoiding me? She took a detour to avoid the heavy traffic. They successfully avoided each other for days. He tried hard to avoid accidents. We need to avoid further delays. He was caught trying to avoid arrest. in an effort to avoid confusion I'm not going to be late if I can avoid it. How can I avoid paying too much tax? I am trying to avoid showing any hint of favoritism.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Navy sent two destroyers, the USS Fitzgerald and Russell, away from their berths to avoid damage. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "Blaze continues to rage on USS Bonhomme Richard nearly 24 hours after the fire; nearly 60 injured," 14 July 2020 The island plans to reopen to tourism on July 15 with visitors required to show a negative COVID-19 test from 72 hours prior to arrival to avoid a quarantine as well as fill out a travel declaration form. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "Ritz-Carlton Just Launched a Puerto Rico Summer Camp for Kids That Will Make Their Parents Jealous," 12 July 2020 The starting times were moved up to avoid a forecast of thunderstorms, so the final round was televised on a delay, available live only on streaming. Doug Ferguson, SFChronicle.com, "Cal alum Collin Morikawa beats Justin Thomas on 3rd playoff hole to win PGA event," 12 July 2020 Lee testified that was possible for the killers to avoid getting blood on them. Fox News, "Connecticut judge dismisses charges against 2 men convicted of murder 35 years ago," 11 July 2020 And, especially in communities where the virus is still circulating widely, elaborate and expensive measures may be necessary to avoid shutting down entire schools each time a student tests positive. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Reopened schools in Europe and Asia have largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks. They have lessons for the U.S.," 11 July 2020 Temporarily suspended collecting fares to avoid unnecessary contacts. Houston Chronicle, "METRO bus operators, light rail operators test positive for COVID-19," 10 July 2020 To avoid overlap with M-division products, Alpinas are usually softer-edged and more luxurious than the M cars. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Alpina XB7 Throws a Three-Ton Haymaker," 10 July 2020 Despite years of protests, Lacey still enjoys broad Democratic support and nearly won a third term outright, getting just shy of the 50% of votes needed to avoid a general election. Stephanie Elam And Jason Kravarik, CNN, "Black Lives Matter's surprising target: Los Angeles County's first Black district attorney," 10 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avoid.' 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 avoid

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for avoid

Middle English, from Anglo-French avoider, alteration of Old French esvuider, from es- (from Latin ex-) + vuider to empty — more at void entry 3

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Time Traveler for avoid

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for avoid

Last Updated

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Avoid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avoid. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for avoid

avoid

verb
How to pronounce avoid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of avoid

: to stay away from (someone or something)
: to prevent the occurrence of (something bad, unpleasant, etc.)
: to keep yourself from doing (something) or participating in (something)

avoid

verb
\ ə-ˈvȯid How to pronounce avoid (audio) \
avoided; avoiding

Kids Definition of avoid

1 : to keep away from Are you avoiding me?
2 : to keep from happening avoid mistakes
3 : to keep from doing or being Brian turned back to avoid embarrassing the pilot …— Gary Paulsen, Hatchet

Legal Definition of avoid

1 : to make void or undo : annul the trustee may avoid any transfer of interest of the debtor in propertyU.S. Code
2 : to respond to (an allegation or averment) by declaring that facts alleged do not result in liability averments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoidedU.S. Code — see also confession and avoidance — compare deny
3 : to prevent the occurrence of or responsibility for especially through lawful means avoid a tax — compare evade

Other Words from avoid

avoidability noun
avoidable adjective
avoidance noun

History and Etymology for avoid

modification of Old French esvuider to destroy, literally, to empty, from es- out + vuider to empty

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More from Merriam-Webster on avoid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avoid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avoid

Spanish Central: Translation of avoid

Nglish: Translation of avoid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avoid for Arabic Speakers

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