the act of avoiding or keeping away from:
the avoidance of scandal; the avoidance of one’s neighbors.
Law. a making void; annulment.
Contemporary Examples

But those who worked with Charles in advertising say that his avoidance of contact was not shyness, but a deliberate campaign.
Charles Saatchi: From Saatchi & Saatchi to Allegedly Choking Nigella Lawson Peter Jukes June 17, 2013

Existential crisis in this reading is not an apprehension of reality, but a symptom of its avoidance.
How to Write About the Dirty War Phil Klay July 9, 2013

She paused when her administrative assistant, Bryce, walked in, a look of disdain and avoidance on his youthful face.
Dr. Scarpetta Heads to Psych Ward Daily Beast Promotions February 22, 2009

The real advisers to the Ready for Hillary organization are almost comically precise in their avoidance of the term “campaign.”
The Coronation That Wants to Be a Movement: Scenes From Hillary’s Iowa Steak Fry Ana Marie Cox September 14, 2014

According to experts, procrastinators engage in “avoidance motivation.”
7 Tax Personality Types Farnoosh Torabi April 14, 2011

Historical Examples

Mrs. Standish was studious in her avoidance of him without appearance of open slight.
Nobody Louis Joseph Vance

There was a pause, and whilst his eyes were upon hers, hers were upon the ground in avoidance of his glance.
Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini

This strikes me as constituting a record in the avoidance of the scène-à-faire.
Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 148, January 20th 1915 Various

For the purpose of all their delays had been compromise, and their hope was the avoidance of bloodshed.
The Siege of Boston Allen French

More important even than avoiding any mere educational shortcoming is the avoidance of moral shortcoming.
African and European Addresses Theodore Roosevelt

the act of keeping away from or preventing from happening

the act of annulling or making void
the countering of an opponent’s plea with fresh evidence

(ecclesiastical law) the state of a benefice having no incumbent

late 14c., “action of emptying,” from avoid + -ance. Sense of “action of dodging or shunning” is recorded from early 15c.; it also meant “action of making legally invalid,” 1620s; “becoming vacant” (of an office, etc.), mid-15c.


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    a play by the declarer designed to prevent a particular opponent from taking the lead.

  • Avoidance behavior

    noun a pervasive pattern of avoiding or withdrawing from social interaction; a defense mechanism by which a person removes himself/herself from unpleasant situations Examples He comes home late, after dinner, in classic avoidance behavior. Word Origin by 1928

  • Avoidant

    adjective (of behaviour) demonstrating a tendency to avoid intimacy or interaction with others Contemporary Examples And so begins what psychologists call the avoidant coping behavior. Dad-olescence: The New Midlife Crisis Sean Macaulay October 26, 2009 Children with avoidant personalities or extreme anxiety will more easily fall into an unhealthy coping style. When a Parent Commits […]

  • Avoided

    to keep away from; keep clear of; shun: to avoid a person; to avoid taxes; to avoid danger. to prevent from happening: to avoid falling. Law. to make void or of no effect; invalidate. Obsolete. to empty; eject or expel. Contemporary Examples On Friday, Young avoided being sent to jail on contempt of court charges. […]

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