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

Shecter noted that some taxpayers will want to pay attention to the rules that could help them avoid penalties. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "New, confusing W-4 form is coming for 2020: What to do now to get bigger tax refund," 19 June 2019 Funds initially awarded for recovery had to be used to cover rent and avoid mortgage foreclosures until other funds could be procured to help homeowners cobble together enough to finish their repairs. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Six years after Sandy, Jersey Shore recovery shows shortfalls in the system," 18 June 2019 People should avoid direct contact with the water near Cannon Beach until the advisory is lifted, a news release from the Oregon Health Authority said. oregonlive.com, "Fecal matter in water at Cannon Beach prompts health advisory," 18 June 2019 High beams that seek out obstacles and avoid oncoming drivers’ eyes are just the start of what’s coming. Mark Phelan, USA TODAY, "Brighter, safer headlights are coming. The question is when.," 18 June 2019 The report said Askew hit another car on a dead-end road where the chase ended with Askew hitting another car and Officer Murphy nearly avoiding getting pinned. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Body cam footage shows Orlando police officer dragged by suspect’s car: report," 18 June 2019 Walsh had avoided directly criticizing T leadership following the June 11 derailment, which has continued to slow service on the heavily traveled subway line. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "Walsh charges ‘there’s absolutely no checks and balances right now’ at MBTA," 18 June 2019 Investors should stick to stocks such as Brilliance China, a JV partner for BMW ; and BAIC, which partners with Daimler, and avoid local brands such as Geely or Great Wall Motor . Jacky Wong, WSJ, "China’s New Emissions Rules Choke Local Car Makers," 18 June 2019 Every other state retains some degree of institutional services, and many of them have avoided DOJ litigation. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Mississippi’s Mental-Illness Policies Are Working. DOJ Is Challenging Them.," 17 June 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

22 Jun 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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