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 \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Shop around to avoid cards with high fees, and make sure the issuer is reporting to all three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Washington Post, "My adult child built a good credit score in just three months. Here’s how she did it.," 4 Dec. 2019 Automakers would prefer to avoid a fight over emissions and abhor the prospect of dueling guidelines. Russ Mitchell, chicagotribune.com, "The electric Mustang is just the start of Ford’s drive to hit 50 mpg in 6 years," 3 Dec. 2019 Polanski pled guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old-girl in 1977 as part of a plea bargain to avoid more serious charges and served 42 days in jail. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Rosanna Arquette, Andrea Bescond Call on European Film Awards to Pull Roman Polanski's Nominations," 2 Dec. 2019 That said, squeezing in a little me-time is crucial to avoid burnout. Tanisha Pina, Marie Claire, "The Beauty Products These Five CEOs Swear By," 2 Dec. 2019 Or the time Ebony avoided elimination on America’s Next Top Model and had an even more unforgettable reaction. Wired, "#ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies Is the Season's Best Hashtag," 28 Nov. 2019 Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "This Pilgrim Republic," 28 Nov. 2019 Spouses have set up separate Cocoons to avoid mixing in-laws, and chosen to add friends that already match their preferred social circle. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Former Facebook employees are creating Cocoon, a social media network for your family," 25 Nov. 2019 But what’s best for both turkeys and people is to avoid feeding them—and that includes ditching the birdfeeders, wildlife managers say. National Geographic, "Wild turkeys are at a record high in New England—but not all are thankful.," 25 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for avoid

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for avoid

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Avoid.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avoiding. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for avoid

avoid

verb
How to pronounce avoid (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avoid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avoid

Spanish Central: Translation of avoid

Nglish: Translation of avoid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avoid for Arabic Speakers

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