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  • Verb

eschew

es-CHOO

Context
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My brother and his wife choose to avoid the craziness of the winter holidays, eschewing fancy Christmas celebrations. They eschew or steer clear of decorating a tree with lights or putting up garlands. They deliberately eschew or avoid at all costs what they see as a widespread commercialization of a holy season. My nieces and nephews, however, do not want to give up or eschew their tower of Christmas gifts just because their parents don’t believe in the season.

Quiz: What does it mean to eschew something?

  • To avoid doing it for the sake of personal principles.
  • To decorate it not too heavily to make it look not too fancy.
  • To criticize it at every turn because you don’t believe in it.

Memory Hook
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Eschew Chewing Once I chewed tobacco, but now I eschew chewing because I found out it can cause mouth cancer.

Examples
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  • Egypt’s oldest and largest Islamist group did eschew violence in the 1970s, and now proclaims a belief in freedom, democracy and the rule of law. —The Economist
  • Just to get through the day, it’s necessary to lower voices, modulate tempers, eschew insults, voice soft lies — compromise, compromise, compromise. —The Washington Post
  • As long as you eschew certain ancient Pagan practices — most notable of which is human sacrifice — I have no problem with you beyond the obvious.' —The Washington Post
  • A spectator shows his determination to get to the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., which has attracted tens of thousands of young fans who would normally eschew the ski resort’s 400-a-night hotel rates. —The Washington Post

Word Ingredients
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From a root word meaning “to avoid.”

Word Theater
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Home Improvement Aliens apparently eschew well-lit housing.
Eschew

Word Constellation
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Eschew