Eschew means to avoid, to shun, to abstain from voluntarily and deliberately, especially because you believe it is the proper thing to do. Eschew is a transitive verb, one that takes an object. Related words are eschewed, eschews, eschewing and the nouns eschewal and eschewance.

Eschew came into use in the mid-fourteenth century from the Old French eschiver, meaning shun, dispense with, it is also related to the German words sciuhen meaning to avoid, escape and scheuen which means to fear, shun, or shrink from.

According to Google’s Ngram, eschew’s popularity fell off during the first half of the twentieth century, but has steadily risen again, until the present.


Ethiopian Israelis eschew protests in case of man missing in Gaza (Haaretz)

But Johnson opted not to take the easy way out, like Greg Maddux and Tony La Russa, and eschew an emblem altogether. (The Seattle Times)

After more than a decade of world-wide touring and three album releases, Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson–otherwise known as the folk duo Hungrytown–have earned a reputation for the quality and authenticity of their songwriting: “It’s great to hear an act eschew sentimentality in favor of honesty and to prove that you don’t have to go raiding the memory of others to find the stuff that really good songs are made of,” writes Jedd Beaudoin of Popmatters. (The Hartford Courant)

For her new eponymous lifestyle brand, launching Sept. 5, she has opted to eschew the well-trod boutique path in lieu of direct sales, marshaling a cadre of representatives to host Avon-like “get-togethers” to show off the collection’s personal accessories, jewelry and fragrance. (The New York Times)

Lessness, though, has been a suitably sparing undertaking, a deliberateeschewal of thetour-de-force solo work with which Fouéré is increasingly associated. (The Irish Times)

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