Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

avoid

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb [transitive] British English pronunciation: avoid /əˈvɔɪd/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyavoid
he/she/itavoids
present participleavoiding
past tenseavoided
past participleavoided
 
  1. 1
    to try to prevent something from happening

    Try to avoid confrontation.

    avoid doing something:

    I want to avoid being drawn into the argument.

  2. 2
    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.

  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 dislikes work and will avoid it whenever he can.

      avoid doing something:

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

phrase

 

property porn

a type of television programme, magazine article, etc which shows off desirable homes …

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

slay

to kill someone in a violent way

Open Dictionary

flat design

a type of design used on the web which excludes features which give a three-dimensional effect … and uses simple styles

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog