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If you avoid something, you try not to do it. That doesn’t mean you don’t do it–you just try very hard not to do the action, go to a certain place, or meet with certain people:

  • Jeremy avoids taking that highway because it’s always busy.
  • Helen is trying to avoid french fries. They’re bad for her diet.
  • Avoid people who are a bad influence.

This word is often followed by a gerund:

  • Neal avoids overeating because it’s unhealthy.
  • The doctor told me to avoid smoking, but I want to quit smoking entirely.
  • You should avoid driving in that part of the city. It’s too dangerous.
  • Bertha avoids working on the weekend because she wants to be at home with her family.

avoid She’s avoiding her boss.

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This page was first published on February 15, 2013. It was amended on December 29, 2014.



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