In the following images I have tried to show you which verb I am trying to find; I need to know what are the persons marked with "B" doing in the images bellow:

enter image description here

enter image description here

A) They are evading.

B) They are dodging.

C) They are ducking.

I think "b" is the only correct choice. If not please tell me what verb is used for these reactions?

  • Answer "B" may be the best choice, but it's certainly not the "only correct" choice. I can't say there is only one verb that could be used for these reactions.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 10:26
  • I thought so; but do you confirm that 'to dodge' is the best choice from among the choices of my suggested list and the other words and expressions used for this sense?
    – A-friend
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 10:30
  • A-friend, your question says, "I think 'b' is the only correct choice." All I am saying here is: that's not true. As for what is best, that will need to be answered in an answer; I'm not prepared to address that in a comment.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 10:32
  • Did you check the definitions of these words to see what fits?
    – user3169
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 17:28
  • Doubtlessly I had checked them; you know well that you have some words in English which are definitely different from each other, but according to (at least) many dictionaries, they mean the same thing for a foreigner who doesn't see any particular difference based on their own languages. This is one of them.
    – A-friend
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 11:51

3 Answers 3


To duck means to lower one's head or entire body down to avoid something above. It can imply crouching.

To evade means to move significantly in order to actively avoid something, or sometimes is synonymous with avoid if the thing being avoided is constantly moving and it's location is visible or known. This is not a very specific term.

To dodge means to move slightly in order to actively avoid something, and is usually used in contexts where lateral movement is needed.

For the boxing example, B is dodging A's punch.

For the dodgeball example, it looks like B is in the process of ducking. Dodging wouldn't be wrong here but might imply the ball has already been thrown whereas in the pic it hasn't yet.

In both these instances, evading is something the players should always be doing, so it's too vague of a term in either case.


In the top photo:

A is punching or throwing a punch
B is evading (moving below the punch could be ducking)

In the bottom photo:

A is throwing
B is evading or dodging. It depends on where the ball is being thrown, (at the person or the person is just in the way).

  • To duck can mean to evade (a blow) by moving in ways other than below. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 18:10
  • @JimReynolds Well I was saying that in a general sense. I am not a boxer, though.
    – user3169
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 18:39
  • @user3169 so do you mean in the top photo, both 'evading' and 'ducking' work and in the bottom photo in the case that the ball is thrown toward the person, then 'evade' works, otherwise (if the person is on the ball's way accidentally) then dodging' works?
    – A-friend
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 11:56
  • Duck or dodge would be more idiomatic in a boxing context. Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 18:41

Dodging or ducking in the boxing scene, dodging or, possibly, ducking in the ball scene. "Dodge" and "duck" have the connotation of quick physical movement.

"Evading" has a connotation of something that happens over a longer time and, sometimes, is at least quasi-illegal, e.g. "evading taxes", "evading the law", but also "evading Joe, the PITA neighbor" [PITA is an increasingly-common acronym for Pain In The Arse]. We could use "dodging" or "ducking" for those cases too, especially in the case of Joe, but "evading" isn't usually momentary or done by simple body movement. "Evading the punch" sounds odd, but "evading the punches" doesn't: it means there were at least several punches and none of them landed, the evasion was something that was done over more than momentary time.

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