Word of the Day : May 30, 2012

eschew

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verb ess-CHOO

Definition

: to avoid habitually especially on moral or practical grounds

Did You Know?

"Eschew" derives from the Anglo-French verb "eschiver" and is akin to the Old High German verb "sciuhen" ("to frighten off"), an ancestor of our word "shy." In his famous dictionary of 1755 Dr. Samuel Johnson characterized "eschew" as "almost obsolete." History has proven that the great lexicographer was wrong on that call, however. William Thackeray found "eschew" alive enough to use it almost one hundred years later in his classic novel Vanity Fair: "He has already eschewed green coats, red neckcloths, and other worldly ornaments." The word swelled in usage in English during the 19th and 20th centuries and is now common enough to be included even in small paperback dictionaries.


Examples

The keynote speakers were two former gang members who now eschew violence.

"The women least likely to have epidurals, said Wilson, are those who arrive at the hospital in the nick of time and those determined to eschew drugs." - From an article by Leslie Mann in the Chicago Tribune, April 25, 2012



Name That Synonym

What synonym of "eschew" rhymes with "one"? The answer is ...


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