Definition of evasion in English:



mass noun
  • 1The action of evading something.

    ‘their adroit evasion of almost all questions’
    • ‘When I fled to Britain and claimed asylum in 2003, the Home Office acknowledged I could be jailed for a period of three months to five years for draft evasion.’
    • ‘Every tax system is subject to some evasion and avoidance, and the extent of such behaviors is an appropriate concern.’
    • ‘We plotted our methods of evasion like we were planning a covert military operation, carefully mapping out alternate routes of entry and exit.’
    • ‘It is often difficult to distinguish avoidance from evasion.’
    • ‘Yet the book is a heavy volume of historic narcissism - a magnum opus of upper-class vainglory and scrupulous evasion.’
    • ‘Elsewhere opposition parties including the Greens, Fine Gael and Labour condemned the former catalogue of fraud and evasion exposed in the report.’
    • ‘But the Government offers scant evidence of this form of evasion.’
    • ‘Sound tax reforms entail effective broadening of the tax base at all levels of government, including through checking evasion and avoidance.’
    • ‘If rates are too high there is avoidance and evasion.’
    • ‘Those same acts are no less acts of evasion, undertaken in England, when the restriction evaded happens to be at a border in Austria.’
    • ‘Most were suspected of draft evasion, desertion, or sabotage.’
    • ‘This exception does not apply to advice concerning listed transactions or dealing with the principal purpose of tax avoidance or evasion.’
    • ‘And reductions in income tax levied would reduce the national sport of avoidance and, far too frequently, evasion.’
    • ‘Such an escape strategy of unpredictable movements is known as Protean evasion, after the Greek river god who eluded capture by continually changing form.’
    • ‘But this evasion of conflict still remained a problem.’
    • ‘In the l960s, the draft was famously open to evasion and manipulation, as that large flock of chickenhawks proves.’
    • ‘The office said bank secrecy did not stop the investigation of tax avoidance and evasion.’
    • ‘Finally, figures from the Inland Revenue provide clues as to the scale and prevalence of fraud in tax avoidance and evasion by individuals and businesses.’
    • ‘The difference between the avoidance and evasion has been described by the British Revenue as ‘the width of a prison wall’.’
    • ‘Still, his reputation for speaking his mind doesn't quite elude him - even if his main concern today is Labour's apparent evasion of both voters and the media.’
    avoidance, dodging, eluding, elusion, sidestepping, bypassing, circumvention, shunning, shirking
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    1. 1.1count noun An indirect answer; a prevaricating excuse.
      ‘the protestations and evasions of a witness’
      • ‘The answers - or more likely, evasions - should be interesting.’
      • ‘She fools herself into thinking she can control the situation, but gradually the little white lies, awkward evasions and chance meetings combine to expose her guilty secret.’
      • ‘My ambivalence is more in response to the evasions and contradictions that lie at the heart of Prospect 2004, the gap between how the exhibition is positioned and what it is in reality.’
      • ‘No, I will not patronise you with clever evasions.’
      • ‘She'd expected evasions, excuses, but not the calm rebuttal that she had just heard.’
      • ‘But instead of coming in with a bold plan of relief and reconstruction we came in full of evasions and apologies…’
      • ‘People like me, who grew up in the '70s and embraced modernity, cannot complain about the end of deference - and women are often right not to accept the evasions of officialdom.’
      • ‘So far, it looks as if, through a series of subterfuges and evasions, there will be neither an adequate investigation nor any accountability.’
      • ‘If you peer through the foggy evasions, you might catch a glimpse of white supremacy: more subtle than decades ago but still very powerful.’
      • ‘Police officers and revenue inspectors issued 32 penalty fines for fare evasions after boarding buses stopping in London Road, Thornton Heath, last Wednesday.’
      • ‘Yes, their coquettery and evasions can exasperate men looking for an unequivocal answer to riddles of life and love.’
      • ‘Some Chinese history specialists were less inclined to make excuses for the evasions, however.’
      • ‘In Medusa, thankfully, he is once again on thoroughly familiar territory, battling to pursue his own flawed version of truth through the lies, evasions and corruption that surround him.’
      • ‘Modern report cards, it said, were in fact a tapestry of evasions and euphemisms designed to bolster children's self-esteem and ensure they do not get caught in a culture of failure.’
      • ‘I regret that no one has published a complete transcript of the 1 hour plus press conference, because it would have highlighted the evasions and contradictions.’
      • ‘Wistful in his evasions, Jesse leaves the answer to their imaginings, and then looks up to catch a glimpse of Céline through the bookstore window.’
      • ‘And with more questions being asked than ever before, democracy demands answers not evasions.’
      • ‘As with all personal questions, I tried to avoid answering, but she took my evasions to be an affirmative response.’
      • ‘Their essays denounced those writers who had retreated into moral and political evasions or pure aestheticism under the pressures of totalitarianism.’
      • ‘I gulped, and searched without success through my box of excuses, reasons and evasions.’
      prevarication, evasiveness, beating about the bush, hedging, fencing, shilly-shallying, shuffling, dodging the issue, dodging, sidestepping the issue, sidestepping, pussyfooting, equivocation, vagueness, quibbling, cavilling, temporization, stalling, stalling for time
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘prevaricating excuse’): via Old French from Latin evasio(n-), from evadere (see evade).