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 The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic—the only gearbox currently available, though a manual is promised—brings launch control, which avoids the lull below 3000 rpm by revving the engine to five grand before engaging the clutch. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "Testing Porsche's New 911 in Germany," 15 Jan. 2020 The resulting uncertainty puts the political elite off balance, helping to ensure that Putin avoids becoming a lame duck and remains the pivot around which the country revolves. Andrew Higgins, BostonGlobe.com, "Russian premier resigns, as Putin calls for constitutional overhaul," 15 Jan. 2020 Trump is happy for Turkey and Russia to assert themselves in Syria and stabilize it, avoiding militant Islamic theocracy, humanitarian disasters, and threats to Israel. Conrad Black, National Review, "Soleimani Killing: A Change for the Better?," 15 Jan. 2020 Because wild cats are not native to Australia, native species haven't adapted to avoid and escape them. Alex Baker-whitcomb, Wired, "A Feral Cat Infestation, Swarms of Snake Emoji, and More News," 15 Jan. 2020 Something different was supposed to be on the menu: a decisive confrontation between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who had mostly avoided arguing with each other. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "A Democratic State of Stasis," 15 Jan. 2020 Compassion & Choices in its suit filed in 2016 said legalizing the practice, referred to as medical aid in dying or MAID, would help terminally ill patients avoid needless suffering. USA TODAY, "Expulsion at end of rainbow, Benedict Arnold, Batman thief: News from around our 50 states," 15 Jan. 2020 That is fine for terrorising cities, but useless for hitting—or avoiding—specific buildings. The Economist, "Missile technology Iran’s attack on Iraq shows how precise missiles have become," 15 Jan. 2020 Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is running an atypical campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, avoiding the early voting states and instead pouring millions into TV ads and hiring staff in other places. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Mike Bloomberg holds 7-point lead on Trump in Michigan, poll shows," 15 Jan. 2020

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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Avoid.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avoids. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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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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