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

Second, employers should champion flexibility more generally (for example, for fathers as well as mothers), to avoid stigma and show true support. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "The three-stage blueprint for “crafting” a flexible career," 13 Aug. 2019 Donor milk carries contamination risks, and needs to be pasteurized to avoid the transmission of infection, a process that can reduce the bioactive components of human milk that are beneficial to preemies in the first place. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz Africa, "Kenya hopes its first human milk bank will save infants’ lives," 13 Aug. 2019 Arsenal fans are trying to avoid criticising Emery after pleading for so long to have Arsene Wenger removed and a new messiah brought in. SI.com, "Unai Emery: Why Failure With Arsenal Won't Suffice in a Season Brimming With Promise," 12 Aug. 2019 Within her first year, county Executive Bruce Dammeier called Roach’s conduct rude and told staff to avoid contacting her outside of emails. Josephine Peterson, The Seattle Times, "Pierce County Council’s Pam Roach won’t seek reelection," 12 Aug. 2019 Past presidents have tried to avoid such wholesale turnover in their national security leaders. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Trump’s Intel Vacancies Put Americans in Danger," 9 Aug. 2019 The app, which raised more than $3 million in its initial round of funding, helps people avoid pretrial incarceration by submitting them to digital surveillance instead. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Free Meek and the Tricky Role of Celebrity Activism," 9 Aug. 2019 The curriculum’s goal is to promote social-emotional skills, positive classroom behavior and academic achievement, while avoiding conduct problems, aggressive behavior and emotional distress. Andrew J. Campa, Burbank Leader, "Changes are in store for Luther Burbank Middle School’s class schedule," 8 Aug. 2019 Prepping for my session was easy; I was simply told to avoid ibuprofen, fish oil, and vitamin E the day before to reduce the possibility of bruising and bleeding. Kate Foster, Glamour, "I’m Completely Hooked on Lip Blushing," 7 Aug. 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

17 Aug 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

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