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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The National Weather Service recommends closing off rooms to avoid wasting heat. Felicity Warner, USA TODAY, "How to stay warm when you lose heat in your home," 18 Feb. 2021 That’s because back in 1935, the state government was eager to avoid being regulated under the Federal Power Act. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Conservatives Are Seriously Accusing Wind Turbines of Killing People in the Texas Blackouts," 16 Feb. 2021 The country's skating association and local authorities called on people to go to ice close to their homes to avoid overcrowding at popular lakes that would prevent social distancing amid the country's tough coronavirus lockdown. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, "Dutch get their skates on in Amsterdam before the thaw," 13 Feb. 2021 At the same time, the rest of my mom’s sisters quietly left Vietnam in small groups to avoid getting caught together. Lisa Tran, Bon Appétit, "Our Restaurant’s Name Means ‘New Beginnings.’ That’s Never Felt More True.," 12 Feb. 2021 William O’Neal, a 17-year-old car thief, became an FBI informant in 1966 to avoid serving jail time after he was tracked down by Agent Roy Martin Mitchell. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "The True Story Behind 'Judas and the Black Messiah'," 12 Feb. 2021 Her mother, who is disabled, soon urged her to quit to avoid bringing home the disease. New York Times, "A Year of Hardship, Helped and Hindered by Washington," 12 Feb. 2021 Some commercial tenants have been able to avoid paying any rent with the eviction notices filed against them frozen due to the courts’ closure, said Eric Teusink, a Decatur real estate attorney. Andy Peters, ajc, "Office landlords in quandary as COVID rages and employees work from home," 12 Feb. 2021 And state officials are eager to avoid wasting doses. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Vaccine hunters’ dash for leftover doses highlights rise of gray market," 11 Feb. 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.

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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

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Avoid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avoid. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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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

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

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