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

Foul avoidance: Oklahoma ranks eighth nationally in defensive free-throw rate and also has been the best in Big 12 play at avoiding whistles. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Quick scout: Why KU’s second-half weakness will be tested against Oklahoma," 22 Jan. 2018 There is no shortage of clever tax avoidance tricks that have been blessed by either the courts or the IRS itself. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 According to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, three quarters of American private employers confronting a unionization campaign hire a union avoidance firm, which adds up to as much as $1 billion a year in anti-union spending. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "Nurses, Unite!," 28 June 2018 All the other advanced driver assists—forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise and lane keeping, blind spot video cameras, rear cross-traffic alerts, and more—are standard across the Nexo range. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2019 Hyundai Nexo is an upmarket hydrogen fuel-cell SUV," 26 Oct. 2018 In an era when (perfectly legal) tax avoidance is common in corporate America, Apple was an especially egregious player. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Another bite of the Apple: Beyond that trillion-dollar valuation," 7 Aug. 2018 Metro created a pedestrian avoidance technology group this year, spokesman Jeff Switzer said. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Metro says fatal Westlake Avenue bus-pedestrian crash was preventable, agrees to $7.7M settlement," 26 Oct. 2018 An unlikely group of conservatives and liberals, capitalists and philanthropists, U.S. lawmakers and small-town mayors have successfully created one of the greatest tax-avoidance opportunities in American history. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Facebook wants to launch its own internet-delivery satellite next year," 24 July 2018 One hallmark of her steadiness has been her general avoidance of self-promotion. Brad Leithauser, WSJ, "‘Clock Dance’ Review: The Family Maker," 6 July 2018

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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Statistics for avoidance

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avoidance

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

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More Definitions for avoidance



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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Comments on avoidance

What made you want to look up avoidance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

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