English Idiom – Avoid (something or someone) like the plague

Meaning – To completely avoid something or someone. To avoid at any cost. If you avoid something or someone like the plague you are doing your very best to ensure you have no contact with the thing you are avoiding. To very deliberately avoid something or someone.

The plague is an infectious disease that spreads very quickly and kills a large number of people. The Black Death in the 14th century was a plague that killed around 50 million people.


When could you use this idiom?

  • You are avoiding someone that you have had an argument with.
  • Somebody is avoiding you because they owe you money.
  • A person is particularly allergic to something, so they need to completely avoid it.
  • You are avoiding a particularly troublesome ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend!
  • “Is Brad at work today? That twit has been coughing and sneezing all week and he will not wear a mask or go home. I think we should avoid him like the plague!”
In The News:
  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?
What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.