- to keep away from; keep clear of; shun: to avoid a person; to avoid taxes; to avoid danger.
- to prevent from happening: to avoid falling.
- Law. to make void or of no effect; invalidate.
- Obsolete. to empty; eject or expel.
Origin of avoid
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for avoid
There are reasons that European countries tend to avoid fluoride.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
It is also important to avoid using the pope as part of a marketing strategy.Pope Francis Has the Pleasure of Meeting Angelina Jolie for a Few Seconds
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 8, 2015
We try to avoid going away for too long, so we can check back in.Belle & Sebastian Aren’t So Shy Anymore
January 7, 2015
The pilot asked air-traffic control for permission to climb from 32,000 to 38,000 feet to avoid the bad weather.Wreckage, Bodies of AirAsia Crash Found
December 30, 2014
As a result, many plants and animals have evolved innovative ways to avoid inbreeding.Mongooses, Meerkats, and Ants, Oh My! Why Some Animals Keep Mating All in the Family
December 29, 2014
He could not avoid contrasting this behaviour with his past preaching.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
"In truth, my father, I wished to avoid the pain of parting," rejoined Philæmon.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He resolved to be as prudent as possible, and avoid, as far as he could, any altercation with Haley.Brave and Bold
Avoid me—place yourself in the condition of my opponent, and beware.
I shall at least avoid, by that means, the unsisterly insults I meet with from you.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
- to keep out of the way of
- to refrain from doing
- to prevent from happeningto avoid damage to machinery
- law to make (a plea, contract, etc) void; invalidate; quash
- obsolete to expel
- obsolete to depart from
Word Origin and History for avoid
c.1300, from Anglo-French avoider "to clear out, withdraw (oneself)," partially anglicized from Old French esvuidier "to empty out," from es- "out" (see ex-) + vuidier "to be empty," from voide "empty, vast, wide, hollow, waste" (see void (adj.)). Originally a law term; modern sense of "have nothing to do with" also was in Middle English and corresponds to Old French eviter with which it was perhaps confused. Meaning "escape, evade" first attested 1520s. Related: Avoided; avoiding.