the act of avoiding or keeping away from: the avoidance of scandal; the avoidance of one's neighbors.
Law. a making void; annulment.

Origin of avoidance

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French; see avoid, -ance
Related formsnon·a·void·ance, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for avoidance

Contemporary Examples of avoidance

Historical Examples of avoidance

  • And to the class of opposites belong assent and dissent, desire and avoidance.

  • Pleasure is an object of desire, pain of avoidance; and the absence of pain is to be preferred to pain, but not to pleasure.



  • There was a pause, and whilst his eyes were upon hers, hers were upon the ground in avoidance of his glance.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Mackenzie determined there was not going to be any avoidance on his part.

  • For the purpose of all their delays had been compromise, and their hope was the avoidance of bloodshed.

British Dictionary definitions for avoidance



the act of keeping away from or preventing from happening
  1. the act of annulling or making void
  2. the countering of an opponent's plea with fresh evidence
ecclesiastical law the state of a benefice having no incumbent
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

Word Origin and History for avoidance

late 14c., "action of emptying," from avoid + -ance. Sense of "action of dodging or shunning" is recorded from early 15c.; it also meant "action of making legally invalid," 1620s; "becoming vacant" (of an office, etc.), mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper