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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

The way doctors are paid is one reason why avoidable procedures persist.
PSA Testing, Like a Lot of Other Procedures, May Do More Harm Than Good, Some Doctors Argue Casey Schwartz, Clark Merrefield May 25, 2012

Herman Cain: An unconventional candidate and campaign in the middle of a classic, yet avoidable, crisis.
Don’t Crown Romney Yet Mark McKinnon November 3, 2011

But already, evidence is beginning to point to what appears to be an avoidable tragedy.
Another Natalee Holloway? Barbie Latza Nadeau August 11, 2011

Adding guns to that often alcohol-fueled mix exponentially increases the potential for avoidable tragedy.
Lone Star College Shooting Proves Handguns on Campus Is a Bad Idea John Avlon January 22, 2013

This is, unfortunately, an avoidable tragedy,” Ed Markey tells me, “and it just really makes me very sad and angry.
Obama’s Point Man on Oil Speaks Lloyd Grove June 25, 2010

Historical Examples

The former two seem to him to be avoidable, while the latter may be visitations of Providence.
Letters from an Old Railway Official Charles DeLano Hine

Your orders are simply to make a reconnaissance and to run no avoidable risks.
The Boy Scouts on the Trail George Durston

An avoidable delay occurs, but the error is on the side of safety and away from a collision.
Letters from an Old Railway Official Charles DeLano Hine

Divorce was bad; it was evil; it was avoidable in almost every case.
The Homesteader Oscar Micheaux

There was no need to mention the devil-fish now; he must spare her all avoidable thrills.
The Wings of the Morning Louis Tracy

verb (transitive)
to keep out of the way of
to refrain from doing
to prevent from happening: to avoid damage to machinery
(law) to make (a plea, contract, etc) void; invalidate; quash
(obsolete) to expel
(obsolete) to depart from

1630s, from avoid + -able. Related: Avoidably.

c.1300, from Anglo-French avoider “to clear out, withdraw (oneself),” partially anglicized from Old French esvuidier “to empty out,” from es- “out” (see ex-) + vuidier “to be empty,” from voide “empty, vast, wide, hollow, waste” (see void (adj.)). Originally a law term; modern sense of “have nothing to do with” also was in Middle English and corresponds to Old French eviter with which it was perhaps confused. Meaning “escape, evade” first attested 1520s. Related: Avoided; avoiding.


Read Also:

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  • Avoidance play

    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 […]

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