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avoid

[uh-void] /əˈvɔɪd/
verb (used with object)
1.
to keep away from; keep clear of; shun:
to avoid a person; to avoid taxes; to avoid danger.
2.
to prevent from happening:
to avoid falling.
3.
Law. to make void or of no effect; invalidate.
4.
Obsolete. to empty; eject or expel.
Origin
1250-1330
1250-30; Middle English avoiden < Anglo-French avoider, equivalent to a- a-4 + voider to void
Related forms
avoidable, adjective
avoidably, adverb
avoider, noun
nonavoidable, adjective
nonavoidableness, noun
nonavoidably, adverb
unavoiding, adjective
Can be confused
avoid, evade.
avoid, ovoid.
Synonyms
1. evade, elude, dodge.
Antonyms
1. confront, face, encounter.
Synonym Study
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for avoid
  • Here are some useful tips that will help you avoid costly pitfalls.
  • Some critics have said the program is an attempt to avoid decisive action.
  • The birds avoid this problem with a fight to the death soon after birth.
  • When counting mountain gorillas, try to avoid the animals themselves.
  • It would be hard for many travelers to avoid a carry-on bag fee.
  • The economy will avoid recession, but won't feel great.
  • To prevent the problem, avoid overwatering and take care not to injure plants.
  • Please try to avoid such controversial topics when possible.
  • Start at daybreak to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.
  • Smart moves clearly helped some colleges and universities avoid the worst of the downturn.
British Dictionary definitions for avoid

avoid

/əˈvɔɪd/
verb (transitive)
1.
to keep out of the way of
2.
to refrain from doing
3.
to prevent from happening to avoid damage to machinery
4.
(law) to make (a plea, contract, etc) void; invalidate; quash
5.
(obsolete) to expel
6.
(obsolete) to depart from
Derived Forms
avoidable, adjective
avoidably, adverb
avoider, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for avoid
v.

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
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9
10
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