dodge

dodge vb Dodge, parry, sidestep, duck, shirk, fence, malinger are comparable when meaning to avoid or evade by some maneuver or shift.
Dodge implies quickness of movement or a sudden evasive shift of position (as in avoiding a blow or pursuit)
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they ran to the Abbey, dodged the Baronet, armed themselves— Meredith

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he was able to dodge so that the man's knife went through his sleeve, wounding him only slightly— Heiser

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It may imply artfulness, or craft, or clever deceit in evading not only the attack of an enemy but similarly the thrusts of a debater, or an examiner, or the demands of an authoritative power
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some dodging casuist with more craft than sincerity— Milton

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the trouble ... is always being dodged or minimized by the moralist— Forster

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dodged the issue again and again

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Parry does not imply dodging so much as warding off a blow and turning aside the weapon; it suggests skill and adroitness in defending oneself not only from blows with a weapon but from whatever threatens or proves awkward (as a question or demand)
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parry an argument by shifting the ground

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parry a demand for the payment of a claim by making a counterclaim

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I parried her questions by the best excuses I could offer— Wilkie Collins

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Sidestep comes very close to dodge in its suggestion of a quick maneuver to evade a blow or the facing of an issue; it usually sug-gests dexterous action in avoiding something imminent but often, on the other hand, suggests not ultimate avoidance but temporary delay or postponement
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the boxer neatly sidestepped the blow

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sidestep the decision of a matter

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he can no longer sidestep the issue

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Duck implies evasion or avoidance by or as if by a sudden bending or stooping
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he never once ducked at the whiz of a cannonball— Pope

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some ministers and teachers have ducked the facts of life— Bundy

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the way for a reviewer to duck such a question— Newsweek

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Shirk implies evasion or avoidance by means that suggest meanness, cowardice, laziness, or sneakiness
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shirked his duty to his family

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shirk a difficult or dangerous task

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that is my duty and I shall not shirk it—Truman

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a war which must be fought out and not shirkedMoberly

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he had . . . shirked telling her that no marriage would occur that day— Bennett

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Fence suggests a maneuver comparable to one used in fencing; it may connote parrying, or thrusting, or guarding, but it typically implies more dexterity or more boldness in baffling inquiry than skill in warding off what is awkward
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fence skillfully on the witness stand

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the president showed a new capability for fencing with the press— Time

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Malinger implies, usually, a shirking (as of one's duties or a hard task) through feigning illness or weakness
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some were half inclined to suspect that he was, to use a military phrase, malingeringMacaulay

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the question whether hysteria is an unintentional device or whether it represents a process of malingeringBag by

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Analogous words: evade, avoid, elude, *escape: *slide, slip
Antonyms: face
Contrasted words: brave, dare, defy, beard, challenge (see FACE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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