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

Definition of eschew

transitive verb

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web While trend-centric fashion brands like Gucci, Burberry, and Tom Ford eschew the traditional fashion week calendar or struggle to stay afloat, these new clothes offer a no-brainer approach to dressing, a uniform of sorts. Flora Tsapovsky, Wired, "Once a WFH Staple, Athleisure Gets Down to Business," 22 June 2020 The second variant of the PS5, dubbed the Digital Edition, will eschew the Blu-ray disc drive and offer downloads as the only way to acquire new games. Fortune, "Sony reveals two PlayStation 5 editions coming this holiday season," 12 June 2020 But early signs from Asia show that bike sharing and scooter sharing may be the first of transportation companies to come back as consumers eschew tightly packed subways and buses, and investors are forging on. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "As major scooter companies struggle, upstarts seek inroads," 4 June 2020 On Twitter, the PNW Youth Liberation Front has called for sustained use of tactics relying on confrontation and openly eschewed collaboration with police. oregonlive, "Who is the PNW Youth Liberation Front at the center of recent Portland protests," 3 June 2020 Across the Atlantic, the crisis supercharged the president’s tendency to dismiss science, politicize the most technical of issues and institutions, and eschew international cooperation. Marc Champion,, "Coronavirus Is a Stress Test Many World Leaders Are Failing," 30 May 2020 And for the last couple of years, anyone who does want a sporty rear-wheel drive sedan (and can plug it in at night) has eschewed even the Germans in favor of one of Uncle Elon's Model 3s. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "It’s a shame no one buys sedans anymore, because the Genesis G70 is great," 26 Mar. 2020 But early behavioral metrics there suggest commuters are eschewing ride-hailing for their own cars, and airport runs, representing 15% of Uber’s revenue, are even less in vogue. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "What will Uber look like after the coronavirus?," 19 May 2020 In the courtroom, Scrushy’s lawyers engaged in colorful imagery to engage the jury, eschewing talk of boring financial documents -- which were emphasized by the prosecution -- in favor of folksy metaphors. Mary Colurso |, al, "Richard Scrushy gets his day in court (again!) on Netflix’s ‘Trial by Media’," 14 May 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for eschew

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

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Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eschew.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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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.

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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

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