eschew

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English eschewen, from Anglo-Norman eschiver (third-person present eschiu), from Frankish *sciuhan (to dread, shun, avoid), from Proto-Germanic *skiuhwijaną (to frighten). Cognate with Old High German sciuhen (to frighten off). More at shy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

eschew (third-person singular simple present eschews, present participle eschewing, simple past and past participle eschewed)

  1. (transitive, formal) To avoid; to shun, to shy away from.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The verb eschew is not normally applied to the avoidance or shunning of a person or physical object, but rather, only to the avoidance or shunning of an idea, concept, or other intangible.

Quotations[edit]

1599 1611 1927 2014
ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1599, William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor
    What cannot be eschew’d must be embrac’d.
  • Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
  • 1927, H.P. Lovecraft, The Horror at Red Hook
    He could afford no servants, and would admit but few visitors to his absolute solitude; eschewing close friendships and receiving his rare acquaintances in one of the three ground-floor rooms which he kept in order.
  • 2014 November 14, Blake Bailey, “'Tennessee Williams,' by John Lahr [print version: Theatrical victory of art over life, International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 13]”, in The New York Times[1]:
    [S]he [Edwina, mother of Tennessee Williams] was indeed Amanda [Wingfield, character in Williams' play The Glass Menagerie] in the flesh: a doughty chatterbox from Ohio who adopted the manner of a Southern belle and eschewed both drink and sex to the greatest extent possible.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Concise Oxford English Dictionary
  2. ^ the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
  3. ^ MacMillan's British dictionary
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, eleventh edition
  5. ^ Dictionary.com's (primary) dictionary
  6. 6.0 6.1 Keynon and Knott's A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English
  7. ^ Collins English Dictionary, tenth edition
  8. ^ John Walker's A Critical Pronuncing Dictionary and Expositor of the English Language, which quotes James Elphinston, who also preferred the spelling eskew

Anagrams[edit]