avoid

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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.
See also: avoid, like, plague

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

let alone someone or something

not to mention or think of someone or something; not even to take someone or something into account. (Fixed order.) Do I have a dollar? I don't even have a dime, let alone a dollar. I didn't invite John, let alone the rest of his family.
See also: alone, let

let someone or something alone

 and leave someone or something alone; leave someone or something be
to avoid touching, bothering, or communicating with someone or something. Leave me alone. I don't want your help. Let it alone! Don't touch it! It may be hot!
See also: alone, let

let alone do something

and to an even greater degree do something We were trapped in a situation you can barely imagine, let alone understand.
Usage notes: used to emphasize the extreme character of something
Related vocabulary: not to mention somebody/something
See also: alone, let

let somebody alone

to not annoy or interrupt someone leave somebody alone I tried to keep my promise not to call her, to let her alone to think, but finally I needed to talk to her.
See also: alone, let

avoid somebody/something like the plague

to keep far away from someone or something When he was in high school, he avoided girls like the plague.
Usage notes: usually said about someone or something you fear or do not like
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of the plague (a disease that spreads quickly and kills great numbers of people)
See also: avoid, like, plague

avoid somebody/something like the plague

to try very hard to avoid someone or something that you do not like
Usage notes: A plague is a serious disease which kills many people.
I'm not a fan of parties - in fact I avoid them 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

let alone

2. Not to mention, as in We have no room for another house guest, let alone an entire family. [c. 1800]
See also: alone, let

let alone

Not to mention; much less: "Their ancestors had been dirt poor and never saw royalty, let alone hung around with them" (Garrison Keillor).
See also: alone, let
References in classic literature ?
Such a sailing is snatched, and you will hardly avoid mischief.
706-714) Be careful to avoid the anger of the deathless gods.
This will best answer the views of revenue, because it will save expense in the collection, and will best avoid any occasion of disgust to the State governments and to the people.
And if any one should say: "King Louis yielded the Romagna to Alexander and the kingdom to Spain to avoid war, I answer for the reasons given above that a blunder ought never to be perpetrated to avoid war, because it is not to be avoided, but is only deferred to your disadvantage.
To avoid this sea of fire, the travellers had to pursue their course close along the foot of the mountains; but the irritation from the smoke continued to be tormenting.
Blundering along in this region of mist and uncertainty, they were frequently obliged to make long circuits, to avoid obstacles which they could not perceive until close upon them.
Typees or Niagaras, he was as ready to engage one as the other, and I could not avoid a thousand times congratulating myself upon having such a companion in an enterprise like the present.
Tess was woman enough to realize from their avowals to herself that Angel Clare had the honour of all the dairymaids in his keeping, and her perception of his care to avoid compromising the happiness of either in the least degree bred a tender respect in Tess for what she deemed, rightly or wrongly, the self-controlling sense of duty shown by him, a quality which she had never expected to find in one of the opposite sex, and in the absence of which more than one of the simple hearts who were his house-mates might have gone weeping on her pilgrimage.
It presented numerous inequalities, which would have been very difficult to avoid during the night with a balloon that could no longer be controlled.
In vain, when freed, did Ponta try to avoid the clutching arms and twining body.
To avoid, therefore, all imputation of laying down a rule for posterity, founded only on the authority of
But to avoid too serious an air; can it be doubted, but that the finest woman in the world would lose all benefit of her charms in the eye of a man who had never seen one of another cast?
To avoid the blessing, still a secret, he resorts to a commonplace; literally, "For what generous man is not (in befriending others) a friend to himself?
The third circle with which Anna had ties was preeminently the fashionable world--the world of balls, of dinners, of sumptuous dresses, the world that hung on to the court with one hand, so as to avoid sinking to the level of the demi-monde.
I should have continued to avoid you, in pursuance of the same set purpose, for a short time longer, if we had not met now.