Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.


tr.v. a·void·ed, a·void·ing, a·voids
a. To stay clear of; go around or away from: swerve to avoid a pothole.
b. To take measures so as not to meet or see (someone): "He never let go of the idea that she lived out there in order to avoid him" (Elizabeth Benedict).
2. To prevent from happening: You can avoid illness with exercise and a balanced diet.
a. To refrain from using, engaging in, or partaking of: avoid red meat; avoid risky behavior.
b. To refrain from (doing something): It was all we could do to avoid laughing at the remark.
4. Law To annul or make void; invalidate.
5. Obsolete To void or expel.

[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).]

a·void′a·ble adj.
a·void′a·bly adv.
a·void′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Avoider birds include species like the Pacific wren and the Swainson's thrush that are found in the U.S.
If there is a confrontation to be had, I am the avoider and don't say what a I really want to.
The minister also asked the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) officials to maintain certain level of civility with assessees but to take to task the evaders and avoiders. "Those who are liable to pay must pay...no evader or avoider must be allowed to go scot-free.
In an (a : b) Avoider-Enforcer game F, two players, called Avoider and Enforcer, alternately claim a and b previously unclaimed elements of X per move, respectively.
For every constant k [greater than or equal to] 3 we analyse the k-star game, where Avoider tries to avoid claiming k edges incident to the same vertex.
Warren Buffett is an avowed avoider of high technology, but even the world's most famous investor cannot dodge Twitter.
Transport, welfare and externalities; replacing the polluter pays principle with the cheapest cost avoider principle.
I may be the "polluter," but you're the "least-cost avoider."
In any workplace, there are seven classic styles of behavior: Commander, Drifter, Attacker, Pleaser, Performer, Avoider and Analytical.
Salt avoider. Family history of hypertension or adherence to general warnings regarding consumption of sodium in the diet.
Comments often heard from risk avoiders: "You didn't give me the go-ahead." "That's not in my position description." "That's not what I'm paid to do." "We never did it that way." "I assumed that someome else had that responsibility." In some highly competitive organizations, a risk avoider may urge others to take risks, they try to make them look stupid.
One Merseyside licence avoider said: "I have an injured leg which is in a cast.