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.
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.