ev·​i·​ta·​ble | \ ˈe-və-tə-bəl How to pronounce evitable (audio) \

Definition of evitable

: capable of being avoided

Did You Know?

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."

First Known Use of evitable

1502, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for evitable

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

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The first known use of evitable was in 1502

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Cite this Entry

“Evitable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evitable. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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