Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To stay clear of; go around or away from.
  • transitive verb To take measures so as not to meet or see (someone).
  • transitive verb To prevent from happening.
  • transitive verb To refrain from using, engaging in, or partaking of.
  • transitive verb To refrain from (doing something).
  • transitive verb Law To annul or make void; invalidate.
  • transitive verb Obsolete To void or expel.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make void; annul; make of no effect: chiefly used in legal phraseology: as, this grant cannot be avoided without injustice to the grantee.
  • To empty.
  • To eject; throw out; drive out.
  • To quit; evacuate; depart from.
  • To shun; keep away from; eschew: as, to avoid expense, danger, or bad company.
  • To get rid of; get out or clear of.
  • Synonyms To escape, elude, evade, keep clear of.
  • To become void, vacant, or empty.
  • To retire; withdraw.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To retire; to withdraw.
  • intransitive verb (Law), obsolete To become void or vacant.
  • transitive verb obsolete To empty.
  • transitive verb obsolete To emit or throw out; to void.
  • transitive verb obsolete To quit or evacuate; to withdraw from.
  • transitive verb To make void; to annul or vacate; to refute.
  • transitive verb To keep away from; to keep clear of; to endeavor no to meet; to shun; to abstain from.
  • transitive verb obsolete To get rid of.
  • transitive verb (Pleading) To defeat or evade; to invalidate. Thus, in a replication, the plaintiff may deny the defendant's plea, or confess it, and avoid it by stating new matter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To keep away from; to keep clear of; to endeavor not to meet; to shun; to abstain from; as, to avoid the company of gamesters.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To make empty; to clear.
  • verb transitive To make void, to annul; to refute (especially a contract).
  • verb transitive, law To defeat or evade; to invalidate. Thus, in a replication, the plaintiff may deny the defendant's plea, or confess it, and avoid it by stating new matter.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To emit or throw out; to void; as, to avoid excretions.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To leave, evacuate; to leave as empty, to withdraw or come away from.
  • verb transitive (obsolete) To get rid of.
  • verb intransitive, obsolete To retire; to withdraw, depart, go away.
  • verb intransitive (obsolete) To become void or vacant.

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

  • verb prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
  • verb stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something
  • verb refrain from certain foods or beverages
  • verb declare invalid
  • verb refrain from doing something

Etymologies

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

[Middle English avoiden, from Anglo-Norman avoider, to empty out, variant of Old French esvuidier : es-, out (from Latin ex-; see ex–) + vuidier, to empty (from voide, empty; see void).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English avoiden, from Anglo-Norman avoider, Old French esvuidier ("to empty out"), from es- + vuidier, from Latin viduare ("to empty"), from viduus ("empty"); see void.

Examples

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