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 subjectelude 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 2003A fair number of academics eschew the simple title "professor" and call themselves economists, astronomers, historians, philosophers.— Tracy Kidder, Home Town, 1999When 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
Recent Examples on the WebThese narratives noticeably, if not radically, eschew plot, relying instead on adventurous self-reflection, journeys through the bloodstream.
Hannah Gold, The New Yorker, 2 Aug. 2022 Plenty of other recipes eschew quick and easy, requiring you to put in the time, effort and/or financial investment through the purchase of special equipment, such as a snow cone maker.
Aaron Hutcherson, Washington Post, 8 June 2022 Following Google and Goldman Sachs’ RTO policies this spring, Musk’s declaration makes Tesla the latest company to eschew working from home.
Chloe Berger, Fortune, 8 June 2022 Young people tend to eschew heroin, not only because of its addictive properties but also because of a skittishness about syringes, say experts in adolescent behavior.
New York Times, 19 May 2022 Some northern European members of NATO, such as Norway and Iceland, eschew foreign bases on their territories, while others, like Poland and the Baltic states, enthusiastically embrace NATO deployments.
Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 May 2022 Like many of their peers, Hot Water Music could eschew writing new music and tour solely on the schedule of anniversary tours supported by their extensive back catalog.
Jonah Bayer, SPIN, 16 May 2022 Once Rising made the decision to eschew an interim, Guerra immediately jumped to the front of their short list.
Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 24 Aug. 2022 Whether artists and illustrators will succeed in compelling large corporations and media organizations to eschew the use of such software remains to be seen.
Alexei Oreskovic, Fortune, 23 Aug. 2022 See More
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.