avoid·​ance | \ ə-ˈvȯi-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce avoidance (audio) \

Definition of avoidance

1 obsolete
a : an action of emptying, vacating, or clearing away
b : outlet
3 : an act or practice of avoiding or withdrawing from something

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Examples of avoidance in a Sentence

a writer known for avoidance of sentimentality a complete avoidance of sentimentality
Recent Examples on the Web Several parents interviewed wondered if this avoidance of the outdoors might have lasting mental harm. Alex Williams New York Times, Star Tribune, "Help! My kids don't want to go outside," 18 Oct. 2020 Historically, Republican politicians have been at least as enthusiastic as Democrats about funding and support for scientific research—a trend that has contributed to scientists’ general avoidance of politics. Sara Reardon, Scientific American, "Leading Scientists Urge Voters to Dump Trump," 16 Oct. 2020 That is partly due to the avoidance of fossil fuels but also because any company that tries to meet ESG standards is forced to do a full-blown audit of their supply chains and internal processes, which helps boost resilience. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Capital Note: Volatility Delivers Victory for Goldman Sachs," 14 Oct. 2020 Copeland appears to have set up a tax avoidance deal that ended with Tuberville having to sue to get title to his Florida home. Kyle Whitmire, al, "What did Tommy Tuberville know? When do we get to know it?," 14 Oct. 2020 The Roomba 981 also features the normal tropes of an iRobot vacuum: plenty of sensors, obstacle avoidance, Alexa control and a circular design. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "These robot vacuums are on sale for Amazon Prime Day," 14 Oct. 2020 In addition to this, his shrewd business sense in tax avoidance could set him up well for serving as president for retiring down at the beach. Siraj Hashmi, Washington Examiner, "2020 Countdown: Florida," 13 Oct. 2020 Regardless of the full legality of the tax returns filed by President Trump, the media establishment has made tax avoidance a crime by innuendo. Chuck Mcgee, WSJ, "Trump’s Past Tax Records Are Irrelevant Now," 12 Oct. 2020 The van itself has a new sensor array for collision avoidance and driver assist, which includes a cluster of cameras that can funnel a 360-degree view of the outside of the vehicle to the touchscreen inside. Popular Science, "Amazon’s futuristic electric delivery vans will hit the road in 2021," 9 Oct. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for avoidance

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for avoidance

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Avoidance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avoidance. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for avoidance


How to pronounce avoidance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of avoidance

: the act of avoiding something


avoid·​ance | \ ə-ˈvȯi-dᵊns How to pronounce avoidance (audio) \

Kids Definition of avoidance

: the act of avoiding something avoidance of trouble


noun, often attributive
avoid·​ance | \ ə-ˈvȯid-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce avoidance (audio) \

Medical Definition of avoidance

: the act or practice of keeping away from or withdrawing from something undesirable reinforced by escape or avoidance of electric shock— E. S. Katkin & E. N. Murray avoidance learning especially : an anticipatory response undertaken to avoid a noxious stimulus conditioned avoidance in mice

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