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avoid - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     avoid pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleavoiding
past tenseavoided
past participleavoided
  1. 1
    to try not to go near someone or something

    We went early to avoid the crowds.

    Avoid that area after dark.

    1. a.
      to make certain that you do not meet or communicate with someone

      We crossed the road to avoid him.

      avoid doing something:

      I want to avoid speaking to him until I’ve got more details.

  2. 2
    to try to prevent something from happening

    Try to avoid confrontation.

    avoid doing something:

    I want to avoid being drawn into the argument.

  3. 3
    to choose not to do something in order to achieve a better result

    When taking this medication it is advisable to avoid alcohol.

    avoid doing something:

    Where possible, we have avoided using technical terms.

    1. a.
      to choose not to do something because it is unpleasant or not convenient

      He hates cutting the grass and will avoid it whenever he can.

      avoid doing something:

      She’s just avoiding having to go back to work.

  4. 4
    legal to declare that a contract or other agreement is no longer legal or in force
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