follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

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 of avoid
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. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for avoid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The married couple should, therefore, avoid everything which may rupture this link.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • "In truth, my father, I wished to avoid the pain of parting," rejoined Philæmon.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • I come to you in preference, on purpose to avoid sermonising.

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • He resolved to be as prudent as possible, and avoid, as far as he could, any altercation with Haley.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • The laws of the Pentateuch directed them to avoid contact with heathens.

    Creed And Deed Felix Adler
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for avoid

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for avoid

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends