avoid

verb
\ə-ˈvȯid \
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 \ adjective
avoidably \-blē \ 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 worker requested anonymity to avoid retribution from the Algerian government. Lori Hinnant, The Christian Science Monitor, "Algeria stops expelling migrants into Sahara after pushback," 13 July 2018 Preliminary plans to build a completely new Olympic Village were dropped to avoid complication and financial risk. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Will LA’s ‘no-build’ Olympics spur Southern California’s next building boom?," 10 July 2018 One exception is the proviso, codified in international law, to avoid potentially harmful interplanetary exchanges of biological material that could spark virulent epidemics on Earth or wipe out fragile alien biospheres. Leonard David, Scientific American, "As Space Becomes a Busy Place, NASA Bolsters Its Planet-Contamination Police," 3 July 2018 The builders left a 350-foot gap in the berm, with fencing, to avoid a backup that could cause flooding in downtown Fort Wayne. Joseph Dits, Post-Tribune, "Fort Wayne builds berm to keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes," 3 July 2018 To avoid that pitfall, look up historical prices before buying. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Amazon Prime Day 2018: Everything you need to know about Amazon's shopping extravaganza," 2 July 2018 For now, Samsung owners can revoke Samsung Message’s permissions to access storage to avoid the bug from sending their files out in the wild. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Samsung phones are spontaneously texting users’ photos to random contacts without their permission," 2 July 2018 The Vikings quarterback fell flat on the floor and then crawled backwards in order to avoid being hit by the kids trying to get him out. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Kirk Cousins goes all out while playing dodgeball against kids," 30 June 2018 For Drag Race neophytes: the finale is taped weeks in advance, but multiple endings are filmed to avoid spoilers. Yohana Desta, HWD, "RuPaul’s Drag Race Winner Aquaria Knows Exactly How to Address Racism in the Show’s Fandom," 29 June 2018

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

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

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Statistics for avoid

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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 \
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

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Comments on avoid

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evasion of direct action or statement

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