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An escape from the consequences of a specific course of action through the use of legally acceptable means. Cancellation; the act of rendering something useless or legally ineffective.

A taxpayer may take all legally recognized deductions in order to minimize the Income Tax liability. This conduct is called tax avoidance and is legal. If, however, a taxpayer claims deductions to which he or she is not entitled so that the individual pays less income tax than is actually owed, then the taxpayer has committed Tax Evasion, a crime punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.

A plea in confession and avoidance is one that admits the truth of allegations made in former Pleading but presents new information that neutralizes or avoids the legal ramifications of those admitted facts.


(Cancellation), noun abrogation, annulling, annulment, cancelling, cessation, discontinuation, dismissal, invalidation, making useless, nullifying, removal, rendering void, rescission, setting aside, vacation, voidance
Associated concepts: avoidable preference, avoidance of contract, avoidance of will
Foreign phrases: Falsa demonstratione legatum non perrmi.A legacy is not nullified by an erroneous description.


(Evasion), noun bypass, detour, dodge, elusion, eschewment, evasion, evasive action, parrying, refraining, retreat, shunning, sidestep
Associated concepts: avoidable consequences, avoidance by the courts of question of constitutionality, avoidance of connequences, avoidance of risk, confession and avoidance, last clear chance, pleading in avoidance
See also: absence, abstention, boycott, default, evasion, exclusion, flight, nonperformance, odium, ostracism


1 the act of annulling or making void.
2 the countering of an opponent's plea with fresh evidence.

AVOIDANCE, eccl. law. It is when a benefice becomes vacant for want of an incumbent; and, in this sense, it is opposed to plenarty. Avoidances are in fact, as by the death of the incumbent or in law.

AVOIDANCE, pleading. The introduction of new or special matter, which, admitting the premises of the opposite party, avoids or repels his conclusions. Gould on Pl. c. 1 Sec. 24, 42.

References in classic literature ?
But I was conscious of a growing difference in her manner towards me; sometimes strong enough to be called haughty coldness, cutting and chilling me as the hail had done that came across the sunshine on our marriage morning; sometimes only perceptible in the dexterous avoidance of a tete-a-tete walk or dinner to which I had been looking forward.
His opinion of Louisa Musgrove's inferiority, an opinion which he had seemed solicitous to give, his wonder at Captain Benwick, his feelings as to a first, strong attachment; sentences begun which he could not finish, his half averted eyes and more than half expressive glance, all, all declared that he had a heart returning to her at least; that anger, resentment, avoidance, were no more; and that they were succeeded, not merely by friendship and regard, but by the tenderness of the past.
The answer warmed the hearts of both the old men, but, with the usual avoidance of Englishmen of emotional subjects personal to themselves, they instinctively returned to the previous question.
I heard them speaking, but my mind was so confused and my instinctive avoidance of this gentleman made his presence so distressing to me that I thought I understood nothing, through the rushing in my head and the beating of my heart.
The armies were divided, there was no unity of command, and Barclay was unpopular; but from this confusion, division, and the unpopularity of the foreign commander in chief, there resulted on the one hand indecision and the avoidance of a battle (which we could not have refrained from had the armies been united and had someone else, instead of Barclay, been in command) and on the other an ever-increasing indignation against the foreigners and an increase in patriotic zeal.
He was but seven-and-twenty, an age at which many men are not quite common--at which they are hopeful of achievement, resolute in avoidance, thinking that Mammon shall never put a bit in their mouths and get astride their backs, but rather that Mammon, if they have anything to do with him, shall draw their chariot.
In his avoidance of slang and his search after right words, Martin was compelled to talk slowly, which enabled him to find the best thoughts that were in him.
Such a connection between the first and second sections is easily seen, but the links between these and the third and fourth are no less real: to make life go tolerably smoothly it is most important to be just and to know how to win a livelihood; but happiness also largely depends on prudence and care both in social and home life as well, and not least on avoidance of actions which offend supernatural powers and bring ill-luck.
He was standing, hat in hand, at the entrance to the conservatory, dressed in black, and wearing a white cravat, but with a studious avoidance of anything specially clerical in the make and form of his clothes.
In outward form, therefore, it insists on correct structure, restraint, careful finish and avoidance of all excess.
A sailor indeed looks generally into the great distances, but in Captain Anthony's case there was--as Powell expressed it--something particular, something purposeful like the avoidance of pain or temptation.
As the story of 'Agnes Grey' was accused of extravagant over-colouring in those very parts that were carefully copied from the life, with a most scrupulous avoidance of all exaggeration, so, in the present work, I find myself censured for depicting CON AMORE, with 'a morbid love of the coarse, if not of the brutal,' those scenes which, I will venture to say, have not been more painful for the most fastidious of my critics to read than they were for me to describe.