shunned; shunning

transitive verb

: to avoid deliberately and especially habitually
shuns publicity
shunner noun
Choose the Right Synonym for shun

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 shun in a Sentence

He shuns parties and social events. After his divorce he found himself being shunned by many of his former friends.
Recent Examples on the Web Her fellow citizens shun her, holding grudges from her childhood. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 27 Sep. 2023 For the most part, if someone lies, cheats, or steals, they are shunned and excluded from future deals. John Koopman, Rolling Stone, 21 Sep. 2023 Other rap pioneers like Big Daddy Kane and Kool Moe Dee shun our operative definition entirely. Jonathan Rowe, Spin, 19 Sep. 2023 But at the same time, shunning the buzzword is very, very Apple. David Meyer, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2023 At the sentencing hearing, one of the women, who like Masterson was born into the church, said she was shunned and ostracized for going to authorities in 2004. Andrew Dalton, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 Putin is trying to double down on his alliance with North Korea – a pariah state sanctioned and shunned by most of the world’s nations – in an apparent attempt to get more ammunition and weapons for use in Ukraine, U.S. national security officials said. USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 That came a week after Harris, Rales and Johnson publicly said the old name, which had been shunned over the past three years. CBS News, 5 Sep. 2023 The dearth of opportunities has led Berkshire to pursue share buybacks at a more aggressive pace, a strategy Buffett once shunned. Max Reyes, Fortune, 5 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shun.' 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 English shonen, shunnen, from Old English scunian

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shun was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near shun

Cite this Entry

“Shun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


shunned; shunning
: to avoid purposely or by habit
shunned her former friends
shunner noun

More from Merriam-Webster on shun

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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