To shirk your responsibilities is to avoid dealing with them — like when you watch four consecutive hours of infomercials instead of facing your homework.

A verb is an action word, so it's ironic that the verb shirk suggests inaction in the avoidance of work. To shirk carries with it a negative connotation of laziness. When Eleanor Roosevelt was asked how she conquered her shyness to become a powerful public figure, she responded, "I faced each problem as it came along. . . . I never tried to shirk. I tried never to evade an issue. When I found I had something to do — I just did it." Ah, Eleanor, why can't we all be a bit more like you?

Definitions of shirk
  1. verb
    avoid (one's assigned duties)
    “The derelict soldier shirked his duties”
    synonyms: fiddle, goldbrick, shrink from
    see moresee less
    British military language: avoid work
    malinger, skulk
    avoid responsibilities and duties, e.g., by pretending to be ill
    avoid responsibilities and work, be idle
    type of:
    refrain from doing something
  2. verb
    avoid dealing with
    “She shirks her duties”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something
Word Family

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