avoid (someone or something) like the plague

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avoid (someone or something) like the plague

To consciously stay away from someone or something. I didn't do my homework my last night, so I'm avoiding my teacher like the plague. My dog is terrified of cats and avoids them like the plague.
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avoid someone or something like the plague

Fig. to ignore or keep away from someone or something totally. What's wrong with Bob? Everyone avoids him like the plague. I don't like opera. I avoid it like the plague.
See also: avoid, like, plague

avoid like the plague

Evade or elude at any cost, shun. For example, Since Bob was taken into police custody, his friends have been avoiding him and his family like the plague . This seemingly modern expression dates from the Latin of the early Middle Ages, when Saint Jerome (a.d. 345-420) wrote, "Avoid, as you would the plague, a clergyman who is also a man of business." The plague, a deadly infectious disease in his day, has been largely wiped out, but the term remains current.
See also: avoid, like, plague