Word family noun avoidance adjective avoidableunavoidable verb avoid adverb unavoidably
From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishavoida‧void /əˈvɔɪd/ ●●● S2 W1 verb [transitive] 1 AVOIDto prevent something bad from happening Road safety is taught to young children to avoid road accidents. It is important to take measures to avoid the risk of fire.avoid doing something The refugees left to avoid getting bombed. Alan narrowly avoided an accident.2 AVOIDto stay away from someone or something, or not use something Everyone seemed to be avoiding Nick. She carefully avoided his eyes (=did not look directly at his face). Pregnant women should avoid certain foods such as raw eggs. Why did you speak to him? You usually avoid him like the plague (=try hard to avoid him).3 AVOIDto deliberately not do something, especially something wrong, dangerous, or harmful There are ways of legally avoiding taxes.avoid doing something You should avoid over-spending in the first half of the year.GrammarAvoid is followed by an -ing form, not an infinitive. You say: They are able to avoid paying taxes. Don’t say: They are able to avoid to pay taxes.THESAURUSto avoid a person or placeavoid to deliberately not go near a person or placeWhy have you been avoiding me?We avoided Park Street because of the traffic.stay away/keep away to avoid a person or place, especially a dangerous oneShe walked along the path, keeping well away from the edge of the cliff.That man is trouble – I’d stay away from him.steer clear of somebody/something informal to avoid a person or place, because there could be problems if you do notI usually steer clear of the kitchen when Alan’s cooking.I’d steer clear of Matthew if I were you.make a detour to avoid a place by travelling around it instead of through the centreWe had to make a long detour because of the floods.to avoid doing somethingavoid to find a way of not doing something that you should doSome people will do anything to avoid work.get out of something to avoid doing something you should do or something you promised to do. Get out of is more common than avoid in everyday spoken EnglishWe promised we’d go – we can’t get out of it now.wriggle out of something (also wiggle out of something American English) to avoid doing something you should do by making up excuses – used to show disapprovalHe always seems to wriggle out of helping with the kids.evade formal to avoid doing something that legally or morally you should do – used especially about taxes or responsibilitiesIt is an offence to evade taxes.The US cannot evade its responsibility for the war. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
avoidWe take every precaution to avoid accidents.The company is anxious to avoid an expensive court case.To avoid any possible embarrassment the receptionist should show the lady to a seat in the lounge.Police were anxious to avoid any ugly scenes when the two boys made their first appearance in court nine days ago.Civilian casualties must be avoided at all costs.Penny jumped out of the way to avoid being hit by the falling branch.The book is intended to help students avoid common errors.She's a good manager, because she never avoids dealing with the problems of her staff.Hoping to avoid delays and embarrassing publicity, in July the council started quietly pressuring Pike to disengage from the venture.Except when they were filming, the two actors avoided each other like the plague.Drivers are advised to avoid Elm Street today due to heavy traffic and long delays.Import duties on some goods can be avoided if you know how.Journalists now subject him to the scrutiny he avoided in his stealthy rise.We must, above all, avoid involvement in the war.I'm sure Sarah's been avoiding me recently.Have you been avoiding me?He avoids mentioning Home Office research that suggests that there is a relationship between deprivation and crime.Children quickly learn how to avoid punishment.Try to avoid subjects like sex or religion that might offend people.But as they minded their church business, they could not avoid taking political stands as well.Do you think he's gone away to avoid talking to the police?The driver of the car said he tried to brake to avoid the accident, but it was already too late.Typical politician! He just kept avoiding the question.I switched ends on the stretcher to avoid the stain from the piece of meat.I had to swerve to avoid the truck.I managed to avoid the worst of the traffic.narrowly avoidedAn assault on the office building angered the men in the yard and violence was narrowly avoided.The torpedo was only narrowly avoided.And Chrysler narrowly avoided a major strike in August at its Detroit axle plant, another aging factory targeted for shutdown.Two children in the car were rescued unhurt, and a woman inside the house narrowly avoided being hit by debris.This was narrowly avoided by producing a new programming scheme, involving local sponsorship as the future funders of individual exhibitions.A narrowly avoided divorce scandal involving a prominent Member of Parliament.avoid ... like the plagueAvoid cliches like the plague! 6.As you know, the best commercial travel pictures avoid people like the plague.But if you just want to use your computer for word-processing or web-surfing, avoid it like the plague.If not, avoid like the plague.The place has given off a bad odour for years and I have always avoided it like the plague.The Profitboss avoids committees like the plague.Trees evenly spaced, at regulation height, and all plumb vertical, must be avoided like the plague.I guess I have avoided it like the plague, without much wanting to admit my cowardice.
From King Business Dictionaryavoida‧void /əˈvɔɪd/ verb [transitive]TAXLAW if you avoid tax, you manage to not pay it legally, for example by the way that you enter profits or losses into your accountsInvesting in this way allows savers to avoid tax upon withdrawal. compare evadeavoidance noun [uncountable]There is a very thin line between tax avoidance and tax evasion.→ See Verb tableOrigin avoid (1300-1400) Old French esvuidier, from vuidier to empty