evaded; evading

intransitive verb

: to slip away
: to take refuge in escape or avoidance

transitive verb

: to elude by dexterity or stratagem
: to avoid facing up to
evaded the real issues
: to avoid the performance of : dodge, circumvent
especially : to fail to pay (taxes)
: to avoid answering directly : turn aside
: to be elusive to : baffle
the simple, personal meaning evaded themC. D. Lewis
evadable adjective
evader noun
Choose the Right Synonym for evade

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 evade in a Sentence

The criminals have so far managed to evade the police. a politician skilled at evading difficult questions The governor has been accused of evading the issue.
Recent Examples on the Web Gonzalez made a pass to Tyler Bagley, who evaded defender Grant Stoneman and ripped a shot that was blocked by Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas. Ivan Carter, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Sep. 2023 The mother desperately endeavors to care for her withholding daughter; the daughter evades her efforts. Jane Hu, The New Yorker, 23 Sep. 2023 And in that scenario, Columbus and his Spanish sponsors do not evade responsibility for infecting Europe, something that could be viewed as the Americas’ revenge for their exploitation. WIRED, 22 Sep. 2023 Martin said investigators believe Mason has been in the Indianapolis area and evading police the past two years. Ben Brasch, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 One of their more notable recent creations — a video in which Black, as Super Mario, emerges from a pipe and evades lava in his backyard — was shot spur of the moment after Stephens texted him. Jeff Gage, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 James, who evaded capture for about 30 hours before his eventual arrest in Manhattan, pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges in January. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 14 Sep. 2023 Coulson explained that Smith faces 15 charges — 11 alleging separate instances of wire fraud, three counts alleging attempts to evade taxes, and one count accusing him of falsifying a tax return. Cassidy Jensen, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 How long a fugitive can evade capture can depend on how much planning went into their escape, said Anthony Cangelosi, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former U.S. Marshal and Secret Service agent. Christopher Cann, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'evade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French & Latin; Middle French evader, from Latin evadere, from e- + vadere to go, walk — more at wade

First Known Use

1513, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of evade was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near evade

Cite this Entry

“Evade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evade. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


evaded; evading
: to get away from or avoid by skill or trickery
evade a question
evade capture
: to escape the understanding of
the meaning of the message evaded them
evadable adjective
evader noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
evaded; evading
: to unlawfully fail to pay (taxes) through fraudulent or deceptive means compare avoid
: to avoid answering directly
trying to evade the question

More from Merriam-Webster on evade

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