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 \ -​ˈvȯi-​də-​bəl How to pronounce avoidable (audio) \ adjective
avoidably \ -​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

People should try to avoid exerting themselves outdoors, Simpson said. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Dangerously hot, humid weekend ahead, starting Friday," 16 July 2019 Eisenberg said of his previous tendency to avoid the dead-ends. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Newly minted septuagenarian sets out to walk every street in Glendale," 16 July 2019 The idea here is a branch of the military that is trying to avoid a fight. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Author Myke Cole talks writing hard science fiction in his space-set Coast Guard novel Sixteenth Watch," 15 July 2019 Come October, some in Brussels think Johnson will desperately try to avoid no deal and attempt to sell a repackaged Withdrawal Agreement to his hardline Brexiteers. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Boris Johnson, the divisive Brexit-backing populist or the charming liberal metropolitan? UK has no idea which leader it'll get," 13 July 2019 Clownfish embryos typically hatch after dusk in order to avoid daytime predators; Dengler of Discover further notes that newborn larvae are extremely small and transparent, rendering them all but invisible to nocturnal predators. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Thanks to Light Pollution, We’re Losing Nemo," 11 July 2019 But the comment seems to come from an eagerness to avoid controversial headlines rather than a lack of compassion. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Will the Real Irina Shayk Please Stand Up," 11 July 2019 Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Fox News, "Mountain lion spotted prowling California neighborhood prompts warning," 10 July 2019 But the idea of going to therapy can also feel so intimidating and shrouded by stereotypes that people avoid it altogether. Alexa Lisitza, Teen Vogue, "The Best Advice from Therapists, From 50 Different People," 9 July 2019

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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Statistics for avoid

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avoid

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

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More Definitions for avoid

avoid

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avoid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avoid

Spanish Central: Translation of avoid

Nglish: Translation of avoid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avoid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on avoid

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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