Definition of avoid in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈvoid/


[with object]
1Keep away from or stop oneself from doing (something): avoid excessive exposure to the sun
More example sentences
  • What is the best method for those who wish to avoid excessive sun exposure and dairy sources of vitamin D?
  • Ironically, women who seek these treatments to improve the appearance of their skin could have avoided their fate by avoiding excessive sun exposure in the first place.
  • Why, you try cutting them out, stop eating them, avoiding temptation.
keep away from, stay away from, steer clear of, give a wide berth to, fight shy of
refrain from, abstain from, desist from, eschew
1.1Contrive not to meet (someone): boys lined up to meet Gloria, but avoided her bossy sister
More example sentences
  • She could tell that Hannah had been looking for her but she had been avoiding her, ducking into large groups of people or ignoring her.
  • His coworkers had been avoiding him all day, and no one would meet his eyes.
  • It isn't surprising that she's lonely, because most people would prefer to avoid her whenever possible.
shun, stay away from, evade, keep one's distance from, elude, hide from;
ignore, give the cold shoulder
1.2Not go to or through (a place): this route avoids downtown Boston
More example sentences
  • What also concerns me is I have been informed these measures are so severe drivers are already avoiding using this route.
  • Some postal workers specifically avoided the World Trade Centre because its upper floors were known to creak and sway in stiff winds.
  • Most people avoided the place entirely, except for perhaps the occasional adventurer or scientist.
1.3Prevent from happening: make the necessary adjustments to avoid an accident
More example sentences
  • He said even the mine accidents that had been happening could have been avoided had monitoring committees been in place.
  • The Met Office estimates £1 billion damage is caused to homes by bad weather alone, and much could be avoided by taking preventative measures.
  • The reason to do it now is preventive to try and avoid a toothless old age for her.
2 Law Repudiate, nullify, or render void (a decree or contract).
Example sentences
  • It could be said that payments under void or avoided contracts are made on the basis of a failure of consideration.
  • As the contract had not been avoided at the date of the sale to the defendants, they acquired a good title in the goods.
  • It is one process that could have been used, your Honour, but the alternative process is to sue for the return of the money on the ground that the contract has been avoided.


avoid someone/something like the plague

Try hard to avoid someone or something: a place that Robyn normally avoided like the plague I avoid business lunches like the plague
More example sentences
  • I have a dangerously addictive personality, which is why I avoid drugs like the plague.
  • Abruptly, Shawn realized a reason why Emma had been avoiding him like the plague.
  • I do believe Mobile phones makes us more productive, which is why I avoid them like the plague.



Example sentences
  • I guess we're all avoiders and procrastinators, but those who come to my corner of the university have turned it into an art, to the extent that that's why they're here, really.
  • In a reform push that will be welcomed by business, Treasury has been quietly developing a plan that reverses the present approach to dealing with tax avoiders.
  • All of this is very odd coming from a political party that in 1992 made presidential politics safe for Vietnam draft avoiders.


Late Middle English: from Old French evuider 'clear out, get rid of', from vuide 'empty' (see void).

Words that rhyme with avoid

Boyd, Coed, droid, Floyd, Freud, Lloyd, overjoyed, self-employed, unalloyed, underemployed, unemployed, void

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·void

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