evitable

adjective

ev·​i·​ta·​ble ˈe-və-tə-bəl How to pronounce evitable (audio)
: capable of being avoided

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British author T. S. Eliot once gave a lecture at Trinity College (Cambridge, England) in which he spoke about "the disintegration of the intellect" in 19th century Europe, saying, "The 'disintegration' of which I speak may be evitable or inevitable, good or bad; to draw its optimistic or pessimistic conclusions is an occupation for prophets . . . of whom I am not one." Evitable, though not common, has been in English since the beginning of the 16th century; it's often found paired with its opposite, inevitable, as in Eliot's passage as well as in this self-reflection by Liverpool Echo writer Gary Bainbridge in March of 2014: "I have been thinking about my inevitable death, and decided I would like to make it a bit more evitable." Both words were borrowed from similar Latin adjectives, which in turn are based on the verb evitare, which means "to avoid."

Examples of evitable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What seems to be an inevitable wonky phase for everyone who grows out a bob is apparently quite evitable for the superstar. Marci Robin, Allure, 12 June 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Latin evitabilis, from evitare to avoid, from e- + vitare to shun

First Known Use

1502, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of evitable was in 1502

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Dictionary Entries Near evitable

Cite this Entry

“Evitable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evitable. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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