American English

Definition of avoid verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they avoid
    he / she / it avoids
    past simple avoided
    -ing form avoiding
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  1. 1to 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 company. avoid doing something They built a wall to avoid soil being washed away.
  2. 2to keep away from someone or 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.
  3. 3avoid something to prevent yourself from hitting something I had to swerve to avoid a cat.
  4. Idioms
    avoid somebody/something like the plague (informal)
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    to try very hard not to meet someone, 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 Learner's Dictionary entry: avoid