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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from avoid

avoidable \ ə-​ˈvȯi-​də-​bəl How to pronounce avoidable (audio) \ adjective
avoidably \ ə-​ˈvȯi-​də-​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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In a letter to members Sunday, a UAW leader said a strike could have been avoided. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "UAW leader says GM could have avoided strike: Here's how," 16 Sep. 2019 The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District recommended Friday that people avoid using e-cigarette devices, amid a growing national problem with deaths and lung illnesses connected to vaping. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio health department: Avoid vaping," 13 Sep. 2019 Here's hoping this Nickelodeon miniseries avoids a similar fate. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The Midnight Society is back in trailer for Are You Afraid of the Dark? reboot," 13 Sep. 2019 He’ll be tasked with trying to help the Cardinals avoid a sweep at the hands of the lowly Rockies. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "St. Louis Cardinals at Colorado Rockies odds, picks and betting tips," 12 Sep. 2019 Danilo Gallinari is something of a wonder: a forward so amorphous as to avoid any real role or definition, and yet somehow effective in every phase of scoring. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Persse called for people to avoid using e-cigarettes while its serious effects are being investigated, an appeal previously voiced by CDC officials. Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, "3 in Houston hospitalized with vaping-related lung illness," 10 Sep. 2019 By investing in these areas, the report said countries can avoid future losses from storms and other extreme events linked to climate change, as well as expand economies through innovation. Scientific American, "Benefits of Adaptation Measures Outweigh the Costs, Report Says," 10 Sep. 2019 But the emphasis Nadal places on ending points as early as possible, which allows him to avoid long rallies, has helped preserve his body. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, "Rafael Nadal Takes Another Step Toward Tennis History," 9 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about avoid

Statistics for avoid

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avoid

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on avoid

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

WORD OF THE DAY

tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!