Definition of avoid verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    avoid

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//əˈvɔɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈvɔɪd//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they avoid
    BrE BrE//əˈvɔɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈvɔɪd//
     
    he / she / it avoids
    BrE BrE//əˈvɔɪdz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈvɔɪdz//
     
    past simple avoided
    BrE BrE//əˈvɔɪdɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈvɔɪdɪd//
     
    past participle avoided
    BrE BrE//əˈvɔɪdɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈvɔɪdɪd//
     
    -ing form avoiding
    BrE BrE//əˈvɔɪdɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈvɔɪdɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to prevent something bad from happening avoid something The accident could have been avoided. They narrowly avoided defeat. The name was changed to avoid confusion with another firm. avoid doing something They built a wall to avoid soil being washed away.
  2. 2  to keep away from somebody/something; to try not to do something avoid somebody/something He's been avoiding me all week. She kept avoiding my eyes (= avoided looking at me). I left early to avoid the rush hour. avoid doing something I've been avoiding getting down to work all day. You should avoid mentioning his divorce. More Like This Verbs usually followed by -ing forms avoid, consider, delay, deny, enjoy, escape, finish, give up, imagine, involve, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, resist, risk, suggestSee worksheet.
  3. 3  avoid something to prevent yourself from hitting something The car swerved to avoid a cat.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French evuider ‘clear out, get rid of’, from vuide ‘empty’, related to Latin vacare ‘vacate’.Extra examples Getting involved in a court case is something to be avoided at all costs. He braked hard and narrowly avoided a parked van. He deftly avoided answering the question. He failed in his attempt to avoid having to pay. He was careful to avoid any sentimentality in his speech. I scrupulously avoid artificial additives when I buy food. It is sometimes impossible to avoid conflict altogether. Most of these problems could have been easily avoided. She pointedly avoided looking at him when she spoke. She swerved to avoid a bicycle. The two men carefully avoided one another. They are anxious to avoid any further misunderstandings. They ducked to avoid a low branch. They narrowly avoided defeat in the semi-final. He’s been avoiding me all week. I hate office parties—I avoid them like the plague. She kept avoiding my eyes. The authorities are eager to avoid bad publicity. They built a wall to avoid the soil being washed away.Idioms
    avoid somebody/something like the plague
     
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    (informal) to try very hard not to meet somebody, do something, etc. She's been avoiding me like the plague since the party last Saturday.
    to fall into/avoid the trap of doing something
     
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    to do/avoid doing something that is a mistake but which seems at first to be a good idea Parents often fall into the trap of trying to do everything for their children.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: avoid