The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Avoid \A*void"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Avoided; p. pr. & vb. n.
Avoiding.] [OF. esvuidier, es (L. ex) + vuidier, voidier,
to empty. See Void, a.]
1. To empty. [Obs.] --Wyclif.
2. To emit or throw out; to void; as, to avoid excretions.
[Obs.] --Sir T. Browne.
3. To quit or evacuate; to withdraw from. [Obs.]
Six of us only stayed, and the rest avoided
the room. --Bacon.
4. To make void; to annul or vacate; to refute.
How can these grants of the king's be avoided?
5. To keep away from; to keep clear of; to endeavor no to
meet; to shun; to abstain from; as, to avoid the company
What need a man forestall his date of grief.
And run to meet what he would most avoid ? --Milton.
He carefully avoided every act which could goad them
into open hostility. --Macaulay.
6. To get rid of. [Obs.] --Shak.
7. (Pleading) To defeat or evade; to invalidate. Thus, in a
replication, the plaintiff may deny the defendant's plea,
or confess it, and avoid it by stating new matter.
Syn: To escape; elude; evade; eschew.
Usage: To Avoid, Shun. Avoid in its commonest sense
means, to keep clear of, an extension of the meaning,
to withdraw one's self from. It denotes care taken not
to come near or in contact; as, to avoid certain
persons or places. Shun is a stronger term, implying
more prominently the idea of intention. The words may,
however, in many cases be interchanged.
No man can pray from his heart to be kept from
temptation, if the take no care of himself to
avoid it. --Mason.
So Chanticleer, who never saw a fox,
Yet shunned him as a sailor shuns the rocks.