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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 from the web for avoiding
  • The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it.
  • Virtue consists in avoiding vice, and is the highest wisdom.
  • They be chosen of the people, as the other magistrates be, by secret voices for the avoiding of strife.
  • Try avoiding a conversation with the interviewee by simply asking the questions and making no comments to his or her answers.
  • But that is a dodge, a way of avoiding the harder discussion about what it means to live free and equal lives.
  • The procrastination is a distorted defense, avoiding evaluation, especially avoiding anything less than perfection.
  • But you also don't want to appear to be avoiding a direct answer.
  • In so doing, it has always favored philology and archaeology, all the while avoiding the more capacious domain of hermeneutics.
  • Then he returns to the road, avoiding all signposts to familiar places.
  • R candidate right-wing blowhard or tax-avoiding rich guy.
British Dictionary definitions for avoiding

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 avoiding

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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