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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.
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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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shunning

despise, disdain, eschew, refuse, snub, reject, scorn, neglect, dodge, shy, cut, decline, shake, double, escape, bilk, evade, elude, stall, duck

Examples from the Web for shunning

Contemporary Examples of shunning

Historical Examples of shunning

  • His food quest must be limited by shunning poisonous plants.


    William Graham Sumner

  • So far from courting this, however, they seemed desirous of shunning it.

    The Free Lances

    Mayne Reid

  • I began to see, or thought I did, why Hope had shied at my offer and was now shunning me.

    Eben Holden

    Irving Bacheller

  • He instinctively went home, shunning the conflict; the others could not.

    Homer's Odyssey

    Denton J. Snider

  • Nor does he any longer seem desirous of shunning observation.

    The Death Shot

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for shunning


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



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper