sidestep

To sidestep something is to get around it by changing the subject or doing something else. If a little kid asks you where babies come from, you might sidestep the question by going to get ice cream. Very quickly.

People sidestep questions all the time. When celebrities or politicians don’t want to talk about something, they sidestep reporters’ questions by answering in a long-winded, vague way — or by saying, "No comment." You can also sidestep in a more literal way by physically stepping around things, or stepping to the side in a dance or march. The military term was first used in the eighteenth century, and the figurative meaning followed around 1900.

Definitions of sidestep
  1. verb
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
    synonyms: circumvent, dodge, duck, elude, evade, fudge, hedge, parry, put off, skirt
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    types:
    beg, beg the question
    dodge, avoid answering, or take for granted
    quibble
    evade the truth of a point or question by raising irrelevant objections
    type of:
    avoid
    stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something
  2. noun
    a step to one side (as in boxing or dancing)
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    type of:
    step
    the act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down
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