Thesaurus

avoid

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of avoid

1 to get or keep away from (as a responsibility) through cleverness or trickery
  • trying to avoid writing thank-you notes for the gifts he didn't like

Synonyms for avoid

Words Related to avoid

Phrases Synonymous with avoid

Near Antonyms for avoid

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Frequently Asked Questions About avoid

How does the verb avoid contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of avoid are elude, escape, eschew, evade, and shun. While all these words mean "to get away or keep away from something," avoid stresses forethought and caution in keeping clear of danger or difficulty.

try to avoid past errors

When might elude be a better fit than avoid?

While the synonyms elude and avoid are close in meaning, elude implies a slippery or baffling quality in the person or thing that escapes.

what she sees in him eludes me

When is it sensible to use escape instead of avoid?

The words escape and avoid are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, escape stresses the fact of getting away or being passed by not necessarily through effort or by conscious intent.

nothing escapes her sharp eyes

In what contexts can eschew take the place of avoid?

The words eschew and avoid can be used in similar contexts, but eschew implies an avoiding or abstaining from as unwise or distasteful.

a playwright who eschews melodrama

When can evade be used instead of avoid?

In some situations, the words evade and avoid are roughly equivalent. However, evade implies adroitness, ingenuity, or lack of scruple in escaping or avoiding.

evaded the question by changing the subject

Where would shun be a reasonable alternative to avoid?

While in some cases nearly identical to avoid, shun often implies an avoiding as a matter of habitual practice or policy and may imply repugnance or abhorrence.

you have shunned your responsibilities

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Time Traveler for avoid

Time Traveler

The first known use of avoid was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Avoid.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/avoid. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on avoid

Dictionary: Definition of avoid

Nglish: Translation of avoid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avoid for Arabic Speakers

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