adjective \ˈfyü-jə-tiv\

: running away to avoid being captured

: lasting a very short time

Full Definition of FUGITIVE

:  running away or intending flight <a fugitive slave> <a fugitive debtor>
:  moving from place to place :  wandering
a :  being of short duration
b :  difficult to grasp or retain :  elusive
c :  likely to evaporate, deteriorate, change, fade, or disappear <dyed with fugitive colors>
:  being of transient interest <fugitive essays>
fu·gi·tive·ly adverb
fu·gi·tive·ness noun

Examples of FUGITIVE

  1. As he daydreamed, fugitive thoughts passed through his mind.
  2. <that fugitive trait called artistic creativity>

Origin of FUGITIVE

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French fugitif, from Latin fugitivus, from fugitus, past participle of fugere to flee; akin to Greek pheugein to flee
First Known Use: 14th century



: a person who is running away to avoid being captured; especially : a person who is trying to escape being arrested by the police

Full Definition of FUGITIVE

:  a person who flees or tries to escape; especially :  refugee
:  something elusive or hard to find

Examples of FUGITIVE

  1. They discovered that the slave was a fugitive.

First Known Use of FUGITIVE

14th century


adjective \ˈfyü-jət-iv\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of FUGITIVE

: tending to be inconstant or transient <fugitive aches and pains—Berton Roueche>


Next Word in the Dictionary: fugitive from justice
Previous Word in the Dictionary: fugitation
All Words Near: fugitive

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up fugitive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More