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

abscond, break out (of), clear out, flee, fly, get out, lam, run away, run off

Synonyms: Noun

break, breakout, bunk [British], flight, getaway, lam, rout, slip

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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

Pro tip: Wear a towel or sheet over your head in order to keep the steam from escaping. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "13 Castile Soap Uses You've Never Thought of Before," 22 May 2019 Acting has always been kind of a twisted way of escaping my own problems and my own reality. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "“Booksmart” Star Diana Silvers Talks About That Awkward Sex Scene and Her Undying Love for Taylor Swift," 21 May 2019 Eventually, this dust and gas will collapse to form planets, but until then this disk blocks most light from escaping the system. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Discover Bizarre Quadruple Star System," 15 Jan. 2019 Why couldn't Jaime and Cersei escape King's Landing? Marie Claire, "Why Did Both Jaime and Cersei Lannister Die in 'Game of Thrones'?," 13 May 2019 Chicago may escape without any precipitation, but the temperatures will hover in the upper 40s – not exactly what Mom may have wanted. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Weather Forecast for Mother's Day Weekend Isn't Looking Good," 10 May 2019 Most ObamaCare advocates are on employer- or union-provided insurance, Medicare, Tricare or have otherwise escaped the system. WSJ, "The ACA Need Not Have Upended All Health Care," 1 May 2019 Crolla couldn’t escape Lomachenko’s combinations on the ropes late in the third round, but made it to the bell at Reiss’ discretion. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Lomachenko stops Crolla in 4th, defends lightweight belts," 13 Apr. 2019 In 1910 at a Paris racecourse, a horse (which ironically wasn’t properly hobbled) escaped and bolted into a crowd of spectators. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, "This New Book Is All About the Dark (And Sometimes Bloody) History of Fashion," 12 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

We had all been encamped at my grandparents’ place for some school break and, desperately in need of an escape, took up the offer from some very stylish friends of my parents for cocktails and dinner at their place in Palm Beach. Steven Stolman, House Beautiful, "This Delightfully Retro Apartment Complex Has Been Home to Design Royalty," 6 Mar. 2019 For her part, Dany is none too pleased with Tyrion for committing treason by freeing Jaime and trying to help him and Cersei escape and sentences him to death by dragon fire. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "What Happened to Tyrion Lannister in the 'Game of Thrones' Finale?," 20 May 2019 However, the Frank family's escape efforts were all in vain. NBC News, "Anne Frank's family tried to escape to U.S. but hit immigration roadblocks," 6 July 2018 After all the costume changes and the hits, the show at its core was, pardon the pun, a sweet escape. Mark Gray, PEOPLE.com, "It’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Gwen Stefani Kicks Off Vegas Residency Show with Blake Shelton on Hand: All the Details," 28 June 2018 For Molly Ringwald, there seems to be no escape from teens. Jessie Gaynor, WSJ, "Molly Ringwald’s Surprising Career Path: Novel Translator," 1 May 2019 Not even watching the Super Bowl is an escape from Game of Thrones madness. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Just Recreated That Scene with The Mountain for a Super Bowl Ad," 4 Feb. 2019 To embrace the fact that fantasy is not simply an escape from the world but an invitation to go deeper into it. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 Even there, there may be no escape from the placards. The Economist, "Donald Trump is greeted by protests across Britain," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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, "Three things we learned from Liverpool v Roma," 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, "Extra work helps pair of Hinsdale Central wrestlers reach state," 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, "SpaceX prepares for dramatic Falcon Heavy launch," 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, "Escape room opens in downtown Elgin," 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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Statistics for escape

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for escape

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on escape

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with escape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for escape

Spanish Central: Translation of escape

Nglish: Translation of escape for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of escape for Arabic Speakers

Comments on escape

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