1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Avoidance
AVOIDANCE (from “avoid,” properly to make empty or void, in current usage, to keep away from, to shun; the word “avoid” is adapted from the O. Fr. esvuidier or évider, to empty out, voide, modern vide, empty, connected with Lat. vacuus), the action of making empty, void or null, hence, in law, invalidation, annulment (see Confession and Avoidance); also the becoming void or vacant, hence in ecclesiastical law a term signifying the vacancy of a benefice—that it is void of an incumbent. In general use, the word means the action of keeping away from anything, shunning or avoiding.