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verb (used with object), shunned, shun·ning.
  1. 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 formsshun·na·ble, adjectiveshun·ner, nounun·shun·na·ble, adjectiveun·shunned, adjective

Synonyms for shun

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Antonyms for shun


noun Wade-Giles, Pinyin.
  1. See under Yao.


  1. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shun

Contemporary Examples of shun

Historical Examples of shun

  • 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.

  • He had shunned her presence from the first: and she had grown now to shun him.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

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

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • Should a woman you scarcely know try the trick on you—shun her.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

British Dictionary definitions for shun


verb shuns, shunning or shunned
  1. (tr) to avoid deliberately; keep away from
Derived Formsshunnable, adjectiveshunner, noun

Word Origin for shun

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

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