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 avoid (audio) \ adjective
avoidably \ ə-​ˈvȯi-​də-​blē How to pronounce avoid (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 The White House said Monday that the offshore wind plan would avoid 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. BostonGlobe.com, "Biden administration plans big expansion of wind power off East Coast," 29 Mar. 2021 That putative boundary between the onscreen love story and the behind-the-scenes drama has traditionally allowed the franchise to avoid talking about its connection to the real world. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "When the Fantasy of The Bachelor Finally Met Reality," 28 Mar. 2021 But public health experts say a new round of research could pave the way for gun policies that avoid partisan gridlock — and ultimately save thousands of lives. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, "Can New Gun Violence Research Find a Path Around the Political Stalemate?," 27 Mar. 2021 Erskine and Konkle are fiercely dedicated to pushing themselves to places most of us would happily avoid. Maria Fontoura, Rolling Stone, "‘Pen15’ Creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine Are Making Middle School Great Again," 26 Mar. 2021 None of this is to suggest women of Asian descent should avoid exploring or expressing their sexuality on-screen, Shimizu says. Washington Post, "Asian women say Hollywood has failed them for decades. They’re ready for meaningful change.," 26 Mar. 2021 The nonprofit Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center warned that conditions in the area were dangerous and asked that people avoid the Archangel Road trail nearby. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "Avalanche closes road to Hatcher Pass," 26 Mar. 2021 About 10% of all global trade flows through the 120-mile-long (193-kilometer-long) canal, which allows tankers and container ships to avoid a long trip around the southern tip of Africa. Chris Rugaber, Fortune, "How the snafu at the Suez Canal could affect you," 26 Mar. 2021 About 10% of all global trade flows through the 120-mile-long (193-kilometer-long) canal, which allows tankers and container ships to avoid a long trip around the southern tip of Africa. David Koenig And Chris Rugaber, USA TODAY, "Suez Canal: How blockage of 'most pivotal node in the trading network' impacts consumers," 26 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler for avoid

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for avoid

Last Updated

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Avoid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avoid. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

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!