evaded; evading

intransitive verb

: to slip away
: to take refuge in escape or avoidance

transitive verb

: to elude by dexterity or stratagem
: to avoid facing up to
evaded the real issues
: to avoid the performance of : dodge, circumvent
especially : to fail to pay (taxes)
: to avoid answering directly : turn aside
: to be elusive to : baffle
the simple, personal meaning evaded themC. D. Lewis
evadable adjective
evader noun
Choose the Right Synonym for evade

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 evade in a Sentence

The criminals have so far managed to evade the police. a politician skilled at evading difficult questions The governor has been accused of evading the issue.
Recent Examples on the Web Many Ukrainian men are evading the draft by hiding at home or trying to bribe their way out of the battle. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 4 Apr. 2024 The couple was cleared of their state tax evasion charge in Georgia in October 2019 but continued to face federal charges for allegedly evading federal taxes. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2024 The Greek gods had secret affairs; for centuries, women in central China wrote to each other in a secret language to evade the ire of oppressive husbands. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024 Matt Schroeder, a senior researcher at the Swiss think tank, Small Arms Survey, said the smugglers’ goal is to camouflage the shipments to evade authorities, who face the daunting task of screening millions of shipments in and out of ports. Guad Venegas, NBC News, 2 Apr. 2024 James argued in a March 11 court filing that there's a significant risk Trump will try to evade the judgment or make enforcing it harder after an appeal. Aysha Bagchi, USA TODAY, 25 Mar. 2024 If Ohtani were protected by the usual roster of business managers and financial institutions, Mizuhara would have had to evade all the protections that are typically put in place to shield a wealthy celebrity from fraud and other forms of financial exploitation, experts told The Times. Connor Sheets, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 The two men evaded law enforcement for 36 hours before they were found and arrested in the Twin Falls area on March 21, according to state police. Sally Krutzig, Idaho Statesman, 28 Mar. 2024 During the hearing, officers testified that Cothran tried to evade them by driving into the parking lot of another nearby hotel. Robert A. Cronkleton, Kansas City Star, 25 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'evade.' 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 French & Latin; Middle French evader, from Latin evadere, from e- + vadere to go, walk — more at wade

First Known Use

1513, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of evade was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near evade

Cite this Entry

“Evade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evade. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


evaded; evading
: to get away from or avoid by skill or trickery
evade a question
evade capture
: to escape the understanding of
the meaning of the message evaded them
evadable adjective
evader noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
evaded; evading
: to unlawfully fail to pay (taxes) through fraudulent or deceptive means compare avoid
: to avoid answering directly
trying to evade the question

More from Merriam-Webster on evade

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