avoid·​ance ə-ˈvȯi-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce avoidance (audio)
: an action of emptying, vacating, or clearing away
: outlet
: an act or practice of avoiding or withdrawing from something

Examples of avoidance in a Sentence

a writer known for avoidance of sentimentality a complete avoidance of sentimentality
Recent Examples on the Web As for what not to do, Dr. Williams warns against a common reaction: avoidance. Anna Borges, SELF, 8 May 2024 That, to me, felt like an avoidance of some of the tropes around this kind of story. Lexy Perez, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for avoidance 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avoidance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near avoidance

Cite this Entry

“Avoidance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avoidance. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


avoid·​ance ə-ˈvȯid-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce avoidance (audio)
: the act or an instance of avoiding something

Medical Definition


avoid·​ance ə-ˈvȯid-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce avoidance (audio)
often attributive
: the act or practice of keeping away from or withdrawing from something undesirable
reinforced by escape or avoidance of electric shockE. S. Katkin & E. N. Murray
avoidance learning
especially : an anticipatory response undertaken to avoid a noxious stimulus
conditioned avoidance in mice

More from Merriam-Webster on avoidance

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