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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English avoidaunce, from avoid +‎ -ance.


  • IPA(key): /əˈvɔɪdəns/
  • (file)


avoidance (usually uncountable, plural avoidances)

  1. The act of avoiding or shunning; keeping clear of.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.
  2. (law, obsolete) The act of annulling; annulment.
  3. (obsolete) The act of becoming vacant, or the state of being vacant, specifically used for the state of a benefice becoming void by the death, deprivation, or resignation of the incumbent.
  4. (obsolete) The act of dismissing a person.
  5. (obsolete) The act of quitting a position or benefice.
  6. (obsolete) The course by which anything (especially water) is carried off.
    • a. 1626, Francis Bacon, “XLV. Of Building”, in The essays, or councils, civil and moral [] with a table of the colours of good and evil, and a discourse of The wisdom of the ancients, published 1696, page 122:
      In the Upper Gallery too I wish that there may be, if the Place will yield it, some Fountains running in divers Places from the Wall, with some fine Avoidances.

Derived terms[edit]