escape

verb
es·cape | \ i-ˈskāp , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from escape

Verb

escaper noun

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Police say the explosion wounded 20 people and the candidate escaped unharmed. Fox News, "The Latest: Bomb explodes near Pakistan pol's election rally," 13 July 2018 And there’s no escaping this rising tide: Satellite events are scheduled in all five boroughs, Yonkers and New Jersey. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "9 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 Supai escapes major damage The tribe said the waves of flood waters did not hit Supai, though some buildings have water damage, and that there is electricity and the cafe is open. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Flash flood closes Havasupai falls," 12 July 2018 At the same time, riding the rails also offers a chance to live free, escaping the confines of conforming, small town life. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Door County theaters add stories and sparkle to summer nights," 11 July 2018 In an interview with WSBT, Dr. Betsy Culp with Seven Oaks veterinary Clinic says Ali probably escaped from her former owner. Indianapolis Star, "Alligator made home in Indiana pond," 11 July 2018 At this point, the suspense in The Handmaid’s Tale is no longer when or how Offred will escape Gilead. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 Finale: Here's What Happened," 11 July 2018 Montgomery County police issued an Amber Alert after a man allegedly stabbed his girlfriend and escaped with his two children, a 9-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl. Gal Tziperman Lotan, baltimoresun.com, "Amber Alert: Man allegedly stabbed girlfriend, fled with children, Montgomery County police say," 10 July 2018 Sampson is wanted for domestic violence, escape and resisting arrest. Sarah Hager, Cincinnati.com, "Sharonville police looking for man who escaped arrest," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Instead of a screw cap that lets all the carbonation escape, there’s a tap handle for pulling frothy pints. Bryan Rogala, Outside Online, "10 Products That Will Turn You Into a Grill Master," 13 July 2018 Then, on Tuesday, shortly after the group inside the deepest cavern had been pulled to safety, a piece of equipment that drained water to levels that made the escape manageable broke. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "The Thai Cave Rescue, Before Its Triumph, Teetered on the Brink of Disaster," 11 July 2018 This video captures the remarkable escape of a driver who hit a truck and spun 180 degrees on a motorway. Fox News, "Van's amazing 180 degree highway spin caught on camera," 11 July 2018 There was Zidane’s two-game ban for stepping on an opponent, the overtime escape against modest Paraguay, and the quarterfinal shootout vs. Italy. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Le Bleuprint: France Follows Familiar World Cup Path in Reaching Final," 10 July 2018 When the infant escapes from the less-than-doting Edna, the ride becomes a madcap race by the Incredibles to capture Jack-Jack. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Disneyland's new Pixar Pier: Is it Incredible?," 10 July 2018 The issue of salmon farming in the Salish Sea has been in turmoil on both sides of the U.S.- Canada border since the escape. Anchorage Daily News, "Audit finds 70 percent of British Columbia fish-processing plants do not comply with environmental regulations," 8 July 2018 French prosecutors opened an investigation into the escape. Sylvie Corbet, Time, "Infamous French Thief Escapes Prison in Bold Helicopter Caper," 1 July 2018 In 1996, Molly’s daughter, Doris Pilkington Garimara, published the book Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, which was based on the girls’ escape from the Moore River settlement. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Daisy Kadibil’s Story of Escape Called Attention to the “Stolen Generations” of Aboriginal Australians," 29 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about escape

Statistics for escape

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for escape

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on escape

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!