from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To avoid (a blow, for example) by moving or shifting quickly aside.
  • transitive v. To evade (an obligation, for example) by cunning, trickery, or deceit: kept dodging the reporter's questions.
  • transitive v. To blunt or reduce the intensity of (a section of a photograph) by shading during the printing process.
  • intransitive v. To move aside or in a given direction by shifting or twisting suddenly: The child dodged through the crowd.
  • intransitive v. To practice trickery or cunning; prevaricate.
  • n. The act of dodging.
  • n. An ingenious expedient intended to evade or trick. See Synonyms at wile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To avoid by moving out of the way (often suddenly).
  • v. To avoid; to sidestep.
  • v. To go hither and thither.
  • v. To decrease the exposure for certain areas of a print in order to make them darker (compare burn.
  • n. An act of dodging
  • n. A trick, evasion or wile

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of evading by some skillful movement; a sudden starting aside; hence, an artful device to evade, deceive, or cheat; a cunning trick; an artifice.
  • intransitive v. To start suddenly aside, as to avoid a blow or a missile; to shift place by a sudden start.
  • intransitive v. To evade a duty by low craft; to practice mean shifts; to use tricky devices; to play fast and loose; to quibble.
  • transitive v. To evade by a sudden shift of place; to escape by starting aside.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To evade by craft
  • transitive v. To follow by dodging, or suddenly shifting from place to place.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To start suddenly aside; shift place by a sudden start, as to evade a blow or escape observation.
  • To shift about; move cautiously, as in avoiding discovery, or in following and watching another's movements: as, he dodged along byways and hedges; the Indians dodged from tree to tree.
  • To play tricks; be evasive; play fast and loose; raise expectations and disappoint them; quibble.
  • To jog; walk in a slow, listless, or clumsy manner.
  • To evade by a sudden shift of place, or by trick or device; escape by starting aside, or by baffling or roundabout movements: as, to dodge a blow; to dodge a pursuer or a creditor; to dodge a perplexing question.
  • To play fast and loose with; baffle by shifts and pretexts; trick.
  • In change-ringing, to change the place or order of (a bell) in the series used.
  • n. A shifty or ingenious trick; an artifice; an evasion.
  • n. Of a bell in change-ringing, a change in its place or order in the series used.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make a sudden movement in a new direction so as to avoid
  • n. a statement that evades the question by cleverness or trickery
  • n. a quick evasive movement
  • v. avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
  • n. an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade
  • v. move to and fro or from place to place usually in an irregular course


Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Uncertain, but possibly from Old English dydrian, by way of dialectal dodd or dodder (Wiktionary)


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  • Ooh -- thanks for dodge! I think I need to be convinced about wheeze..

    February 20, 2007