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 Englishavoiden < Anglo-Frenchavoider, equivalent to a-a-4 + voider to void
Related 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, adjectiveCan be confusedavoidevadeavoidovoid
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.
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.