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[shuhn] /ʃʌn/
verb (used with object), shunned, shunning.
to keep away from (a place, person, object, etc.), from motives of dislike, caution, etc.; take pains to avoid.
Origin of shun
before 950; Middle English shunen, Old English scunian to avoid, fear
Related forms
shunnable, adjective
shunner, noun
unshunnable, adjective
unshunned, adjective
evade, eschew.


[shoon] /ʃun/
noun, Wade-Giles, Pinyin.
See under Yao.


[you] /yaʊ/
Wade-Giles, Pinyin. a legendary emperor of China who, with his successor (Shun) was a paragon of good government. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shun
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Above all, shun the snares of women, for they are ever set for the foolish feet of the young.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I have been early taught to shun all allusion to his memory.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • He had shunned her presence from the first: and she had grown now to shun him.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • Should a woman you scarcely know try the trick on you—shun her.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • But for that end he must move through the living world—not shun it.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for shun


verb shuns, shunning, shunned
(transitive) to avoid deliberately; keep away from
Derived Forms
shunnable, adjective
shunner, noun
Word Origin
Old English scunian, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shun

Old English scunian "to shun, avoid; abhor; desist, abstain; to hide, seek safety by concealment," of uncertain origin; not found in any other language. Perhaps ultimately from PIE root *skeu- "to cover, to hide." Related: Shunned; shunning. A shun-pike (American English, 1911) was a road constructed to avoid tolls.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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