verb (used with object)
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
1250–30; Middle English avoidenRelated formsa·void·a·ble, adjectivea·void·a·bly, adverba·void·er, nounnon·a·void·a·ble, adjectivenon·a·void·a·ble·ness, nounnon·a·void·a·bly, adverbun·a·void·ing, adjective
< Anglo-French avoider,
equivalent to a- a-4
1. Avoid, escape mean to come through a potentially harmful or unpleasant experience, without suffering serious consequences. To avoid is to succeed in keeping away from something dangerous or undesirable: to avoid meeting an enemy. Escape suggests encountering peril but coming through it safely: to escape drowning.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for avoider
Derived Formsavoidable, adjectiveavoidably, adverbavoider, noun
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 for avoid
C14: from Anglo-French avoider, from Old French esvuidier, from vuidier to empty, void
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 avoider
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper