es·​chew | \ e-ˈshü How to pronounce eschew (audio) , i-; es-ˈchü, is-; also e-ˈskyü How to pronounce eschew (audio) \
eschewed; eschewing; eschews

Definition of eschew

transitive verb

: to avoid habitually especially on moral or practical grounds : shun

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from eschew

eschewal \ e-​ˈshü-​əl How to pronounce eschewal (audio) , i-​ ; es-​ˈchü-​ , is-​ ; also  e-​ˈskyü-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for eschew

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

Did You Know?

Eschew derives from the Anglo-French verb eschiver and is akin to the Old High German verb sciuhen ("to frighten off"), an ancestor of our word shy. In his famous dictionary of 1755 Dr. Samuel Johnson characterized "eschew" as "almost obsolete." History has proven that the great lexicographer was wrong on that call, however. William Thackeray found "eschew" alive enough to use it almost one hundred years later in his classic novel Vanity Fair: "He has already eschewed green coats, red neckcloths, and other worldly ornaments." The word swelled in usage in English during the 19th and 20th centuries and is now common enough to be included even in small paperback dictionaries.

Examples of eschew in a Sentence

Though a doctor with psychiatric training, he eschewed the science that had so enamored earlier child-rearing professionals … — Sue Halpern, New York Review of Books, 29 May 2003 A fair number of academics eschew the simple title "professor" and call themselves economists, astronomers, historians, philosophers. — Tracy Kidder, Home Town, 1999 When introduced to a stranger, he eschewed formalities, stuck out a gnarled right hand and responded with a chummy, "Hermann." — Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated, 2 Feb. 1998 They now eschew the violence of their past. a psychologist who eschews the traditional methods of psychotherapy
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The idea of natural wine, with its embrace of flavors that some winemakers might have previously eschewed, began to proliferate. Esther Mobley,, "Founders of Scar of the Sea, a leading Santa Barbara County winery, end partnership," 13 Feb. 2020 Kids are also gravitating to micro (1,000-1 million followers) or nano (100-5,000 followers) influencers, eschewing the big league-influencers, like PewDiePie with 103 million followers, that today’s young adults might have favored. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "The gender gap in gaming is closing as more kids get smartphones," 5 Feb. 2020 Company officials say the retail landscape has changed as shoppers eschew shopping centers and shift shopping to the internet. Alexander Coolidge,, "P&G eyes cutting back Art of Shaving stores," 31 Jan. 2020 Also, pro tip: Hacking is a term you guys should eschew for a while. TheWeek, "Saudis get dragged for requesting an investigation of 'absurd' claims crown prince hacked Jeff Bezos' phone," 22 Jan. 2020 Economic circuits must be scaled to local ecosystems and resources, eschewing global supply chains. Harrison Stetler, The New York Review of Books, "‘Collapsologie’: Constructing an Idea of How Things Fall Apart," 21 Jan. 2020 The company has taken a rather unusual approach in showcasing the console's features so far, though, spilling technical details to certain media outlets, but eschewing major showcases. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Why Microsoft Is Leaning Into E3—and Sony Is Bowing Out—Amid ‘Marketing Hype War’," 14 Jan. 2020 Owner Connect Airways, comprising Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., private-equity firm Cyrus Capital and airport firm Stobart Group, appears ready to let the company go if the government eschews a rescue. Charlotte Ryan,, "Cities Cut Off and Airports at Risk: What Happens If Flybe Folds," 14 Jan. 2020 Around that time, McGrath became intrigued by the field he had once eschewed as major brands began investing in online campaigns in innovative ways. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Night After Night's Casey McGrath On His Innovative Brand Partnerships for Quavo, 21 Savage & More," 10 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eschew.' 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 eschew

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eschew

Middle English, from Anglo-French eschiver (3rd present eschiu) of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German sciuhen to frighten off — more at shy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eschew

Time Traveler for eschew

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about eschew

Statistics for eschew

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eschew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for eschew


How to pronounce eschew (audio) How to pronounce eschew (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of eschew

formal : to avoid (something) especially because you do not think it is right, proper, etc.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on eschew

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eschew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eschew

Spanish Central: Translation of eschew

Nglish: Translation of eschew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eschew for Arabic Speakers

Comments on eschew

What made you want to look up eschew? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!