- 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 for avoid on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for avoidable
Adding guns to that often alcohol-fueled mix exponentially increases the potential for avoidable tragedy.Lone Star College Shooting Proves Handguns on Campus Is a Bad Idea
January 23, 2013
The way doctors are paid is one reason why avoidable procedures persist.
Avoidable care is an issue the medical profession has been aware of for decades.
Herman Cain: An unconventional candidate and campaign in the middle of a classic, yet avoidable, crisis.Don't Crown Romney Yet
November 4, 2011
But already, evidence is beginning to point to what appears to be an avoidable tragedy.Another Natalee Holloway?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
August 12, 2011
Yes, I am a little oppressed just now with overwork, nor is this avoidable.Hortus Inclusus
Do not pass between two persons who are talking together, if avoidable.The Etiquette of To-day
Edith B. Ordway
Your orders are simply to make a reconnaissance and to run no avoidable risks.The Boy Scouts on the Trail
Divorce was bad; it was evil; it was avoidable in almost every case.The Homesteader
The unavoidable losses are few in number; the avoidable, many.Health, Happiness, and Longevity
Louis Philippe McCarty
- 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 avoidable
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.