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 Your senses of motivation and generosity rebel against the ruler of responsibility, and desire shuns your guest planet Saturn entirely. Jennifer Culp, Them, 15 July 2024 Lest anyone have forgotten, Louis C.K. belatedly admitted to exposing himself and masturbating in front of women after a New York Times story detailed multiple allegations, initially losing deals and being shunned before returning to performing roughly nine months later. Brian Lowry, CNN, 11 July 2024 Yet shunning anyone on the left who insists otherwise has become a progressive strategy. Pamela Paul, The Mercury News, 29 June 2024 Imagine living a life (for whatever reason) where people shun you. Helen I. Bennett, Hartford Courant, 27 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for shun 

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 25 Jul. 2024.

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
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!