There are two ways of avoiding things. Actively and passively.

If you see somebody you don't want to meet, and choose to walk in a big circle around them, you are avoiding them actively.

If you had work that should've been done, and you just don't do it, you are avoiding work pasively.

To avoid things is in opposition to the concept of facing your fears. It is seldom looked upon as a wise action, but mostly cowardly, even though it can be wise in a few cases. For instance if avoiding a person makes life better for both of you. Or if you are avoiding danger just because it is incredibly stupid to pursue it.

Avoid is the antonym of pursue.

A*void" (), v. t. [p. & p. p. Avoided; p. pr. & vb. n. Avoiding.] [OF. esvuidier, es (L. ex) + vuidier, voidier, to empty. See Void, a.]


To empty.




To emit or throw out; to void; as, to avoid excretions.


Sir T. Browne.


To quit or evacuate; to withdraw from.


Six of us only stayed, and the rest avoided the room. Bacon.


To make void; to annul or vacate; to refute.

How can these grants of the king's be avoided? Spenser.


To keep away from; to keep clear of; to endeavor no to meet; to shun; to abstain from; as, to avoid the company of gamesters.

What need a man forestall his date of grief. And run to meet what he would most avoid ? Milton.

He carefully avoided every act which could goad them into open hostility. Macaulay.


To get rid of.



7. Pleading

To defeat or evade; to invalidate. Thus, in a replication, the plaintiff may deny the defendant's plea, or confess it, and avoid it by stating new matter.


Syn. -- To escape; elude; evade; eschew. -- To Avoid, Shun. Avoid in its commonest sense means, to keep clear of, an extension of the meaning, to withdraw one's self from. It denotes care taken not to come near or in contact; as, to avoid certain persons or places. Shun is a stronger term, implying more prominently the idea of intention. The words may, however, in many cases be interchanged.

No man can pray from his heart to be kept from temptation, if the take no care of himself to avoid it. Mason.

So Chanticleer, who never saw a fox, Yet shunned him as a sailor shuns the rocks. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

A*void", v. i.


To retire; to withdraw.


David avoided out of his presence. 1 Sam. xviii. 11.

2. Law

To become void or vacant.




© Webster 1913.

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