escape

verb
es·​cape | \ i-ˈskāp How to pronounce escape (audio) , e-, dialectal ik-ˈskāp \
escaped; escaping

Definition of escape

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to get away (as by flight) escaped from prison
b : to issue from confinement gas is escaping
c of a plant : to run wild from cultivation
2 : to avoid a threatening evil the boat sank but the crew escaped

transitive verb

1 : to get free of : break away from escape the jungle escape the solar system
2 : to get or stay out of the way of : avoid efforts to escape poverty
3 : to fail to be noticed or recallable by his name escapes me
4a : to issue from a smile escaped me
b : to be uttered involuntarily by a sigh of relief escaped her

escape

noun

Definition of escape (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an act or instance of escaping: such as
a : flight from confinement
b : evasion of something undesirable
c : leakage or outflow especially of a fluid
d : distraction or relief from routine or reality
2 : a means of escape
3 : a cultivated plant run wild
4 or less commonly Escape : escape key

escape

adjective

Definition of escape (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : providing a means of escape escape literature
2 : providing a means of evading a regulation, claim, or commitment an escape clause in a contract

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Other Words from escape

Verb

escaper noun

Synonyms for escape

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for escape

Verb

escape, avoid, evade, elude, shun, eschew mean to get away or keep away from something. escape stresses the fact of getting away or being passed by not necessarily through effort or by conscious intent. nothing escapes her sharp eyes avoid stresses forethought and caution in keeping clear of danger or difficulty. try to avoid past errors evade implies adroitness, ingenuity, or lack of scruple in escaping or avoiding. evaded the question by changing the subject elude implies a slippery or baffling quality in the person or thing that escapes. what she sees in him eludes me shun often implies an avoiding as a matter of habitual practice or policy and may imply repugnance or abhorrence. you have shunned your responsibilities eschew implies an avoiding or abstaining from as unwise or distasteful. a playwright who eschews melodrama

Did You Know?

If you were being held captive by someone gripping the coat or cloak you were wearing, you might be able to get away by slipping out of it. This is the idea on which the word escape is based. Escape is made up of the Latin prefix ex-, which means “out of,” and the Latin word cappa, which means “head covering” or “cloak.”

Examples of escape in a Sentence

Verb They managed to escape from the burning building. He needed a vacation to escape the routine of daily life. She moved to the city to escape the memory of her mother's death. trying to help people to escape poverty trying to help people to escape from poverty He succeeded in escaping punishment for many years. A few passengers somehow escaped injury. She barely escaped death when her car slid off the road. Several passengers escaped without injury. Noun The prisoners attempted a daring escape. He celebrated his escape from his boring job with a long vacation. She had a lucky escape when she wasn't injured in the accident. She managed to avoid serious injury, but it was a narrow escape. The door was locked; there was no escape. Gardening offered an escape from her busy life. an accidental escape of poisonous gases trying to prevent further escape of liquid
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And during the second wave, Sandesh’s team didn’t escape unscathed. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 27 May 2021 Few, if any, products and organizations escape consumer, employee, shareholder, investor, rating agencies and regulatory scrutiny under the amplified sustainability lens. Francois Botha, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Travelers who do book can escape to Glacier National Park — one of this summer's hottest travel destinations — via Amtrak from Chicago for a six-day adventure for $1,829 per passenger. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, 27 May 2021 Only rarely, like when a massive volcano fires a layer of coal into the sky, does that carbon escape its confines to dramatically warm the planet. Matt Simon, Wired, 25 May 2021 Senior government officials cannot escape the fact that taking deliberate actions to limit access to abundant, affordable, reliable energy has an immediate, direct, and profoundly negative impact on the lives and well-being of the public. Jason Hayes, National Review, 20 May 2021 Even then the Dursts could not escape Robert’s shadow. Charles Bagli, Town & Country, 17 May 2021 Border Patrol agents checked documents and jotted down the names of the migrants who, to escape the oppressive heat, had gathered in the shade cast by the wall. Miriam Jordan, Star Tribune, 16 May 2021 Border Patrol agents checked documents and jotted down names of the migrants who, to escape the oppressive heat, had gathered in the shade cast by the wall. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, 16 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Meanwhile, several associates are in jail or on trial in Japan and Turkey, in cases related to his financial activities or escape. BostonGlobe.com, 31 May 2021 In an escape saga worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, Ghosn alluded the country’s authorities in late December 2019 to fly from Japan to Lebanon aboard a private jet, allegedly concealed in a music case. Peter Lyon, Forbes, 30 May 2021 These strains, called escape variants, emerge from the evolutionary pressure posed by partial immunity. Duncan Maru, STAT, 29 May 2021 Though the Portuguese capital still offered its signature food, museums, picturesque vistas and attractions, stringent mask rules and curfews reminded visitors this would not be an unfettered escape. New York Times, 29 May 2021 With a bad back caused from carrying water and blistered hands from rigorous chores, even nighttime offered no escape. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, 28 May 2021 Luplow, who entered as a defensive replacement an inning earlier, made the clutch grab for the final out to help closer Emmanuel Clase escape with his eighth save in nine chances. Arkansas Online, 25 May 2021 Natasha was forced to choose between leaving Anya to die in an explosion and escape, or rescue her and risk being recaptured. Chris Smith, BGR, 25 May 2021 The trial of two Americans accused of orchestrating Mr. Ghosn’s spectacular escape starts next month. Nick Kostov, WSJ, 24 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Authorities searched around Stevenson Park but could not locate Tidwell, who will face additional escape charges, the sheriff’s office said. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, 4 Dec. 2019 Another epic escape act seems improbable, but can't be ruled out if Di Francesco gets his tactics right in Rome. Stevens Griffiths, chicagotribune.com, 24 Apr. 2018 During his final three matches at the sectional, Skokna consistently employed a strategy of letting his opponent get escape points without trying to keep him down. Patrick Kelly, chicagotribune.com, 16 Feb. 2018 The Saturn 5, which flew 13 times, had an Earth-escape payload capacity of more than 100,000 pounds, about three times the capability of the Falcon Heavy. William Harwood, CBS News, 4 Feb. 2018 There are already escape room businesses in Aurora, Naperville, McHenry, St. Charles, Schaumburg, Wheaton, quite a few other suburbs and in Chicago. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, 25 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'escape.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of escape

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for escape

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French escaper, eschaper, from Vulgar Latin *excappare, from Latin ex- + Late Latin cappa head covering, cloak

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Time Traveler for escape

Time Traveler

The first known use of escape was in the 13th century

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Statistics for escape

Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Escape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/escape. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for escape

escape

verb

English Language Learners Definition of escape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to get away from a place (such as a prison) where you are being held or kept
: to get away from a dangerous place or situation
: to get away from something that is difficult or unpleasant

escape

noun

English Language Learners Definition of escape (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of escaping from a place, situation, etc.
: a way of escaping from a place, situation, etc.
: an occurrence in which an amount of liquid or gas passes out through a hole or crack in a container

escape

verb
es·​cape | \ i-ˈskāp How to pronounce escape (audio) \
escaped; escaping

Kids Definition of escape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to get away : get free or clear Everyone escaped from the burning building.
2 : to keep free of : avoid She managed to escape injury.
3 : to fail to be noticed or remembered by The name escapes me.
4 : to leak out Gas is escaping from the tank.

escape

noun

Kids Definition of escape (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of getting away a narrow escape
2 : a way of getting away … there was no escape except up the cliff.— Jack London, The Call of the Wild

escape

verb
es·​cape | \ is-ˈkāp How to pronounce escape (audio) \
escaped; escaping

Medical Definition of escape

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to avoid or find relief from something by means of an escape

transitive verb

: to avoid or find relief from (something) by means of an escape he was unable to escape reality

escape

noun

Medical Definition of escape (Entry 2 of 3)

: an act or instance of escaping: as
a : evasion of something undesirable find no method of escape from pain and suffering
b : distraction or relief from routine or reality especially : mental distraction or relief by flight into idealizing fantasy or fiction that serves to glorify the self

escape

adjective

Medical Definition of escape (Entry 3 of 3)

: providing a means of escape escape literature

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es·​cape
escaped; escaping

Legal Definition of escape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to depart from lawful custody with the intent of avoiding confinement or the administration of justice

escape

noun

Legal Definition of escape (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of escaping
2 : the criminal offense of escaping

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