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

Staying in the shade, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and avoiding the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. can also help protect your skin and lips. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "A Sunburn on Your Lips Is Especially Dangerous – Here’s How to Protect Them," 10 May 2019 One way to avoid any contamination is to always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before preparing or consuming food. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Salmonella," 2 May 2019 Fill any holes—or cracks in your foundation or walls—to avoid having insects and rodents enter your home. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for Spring," 25 Feb. 2019 The company even provided details about how to use a VPN in order to avoid having their emails traced back to the company. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The biggest beauty trend in 2018? Makeup brands behaving badly," 18 Dec. 2018 Despite all the information out there about how to catch more zzz's — from meditating before bed to avoiding screens — many of us are still struggling. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "15 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight, According to Experts," 2 May 2019 Retirees could ensure their nest egg lasts longer by avoiding these common mistakes: Mistake No. 1: Investing too conservatively... Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "The Biggest Financial Mistakes Retirees Make," 21 Apr. 2019 Time for Tone and Color Silver is a notoriously tricky color to get right, and the key to avoiding a dye-job mishap is all about getting the prep work spot-on. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "I Just Got Gray Highlights, and Now I Love My Hair More Than Ever," 10 Apr. 2019 Microsoft plans to go slowly and carefully to avoid a repeat of the disastrous rollout of the October 2018 Update, which was re-released in November after the original update overwrote files on a small number of PCs. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft will ship the Windows 10 May 2019 Update in late May, giving you power over updates," 4 Apr. 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

25 May 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

Comments on avoid

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