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

The Portland Timbers escaped with a point Saturday night after a physical and an emotional match that capped a grueling week. Jarrid Denney For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "Portland Timbers play a man down, escape with 2-2 draw with Colorado Rapids on ‘weird night’ in Portland," 14 July 2019 Two people have escaped with their lives after being chased down by a tiger in India in a harrowing incident captured on video. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Tiger Chases After Motorcycle in Terrifying Viral Video," 4 July 2019 Or the squirrel might have been caught in a trap, or had an unfortunate encounter with a predator, escaping with its life but minus a limb. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "July 4th — The day we Bay Area-ites torture pets and wildlife with our fireworks," 3 July 2019 Instead, coach Gregg Berhalter’s men will live another day, escaping with a 1-0 win that sends them to Wednesday’s semifinal against Jamaica. Brian Straus, SI.com, "USMNT Gets Away With Disjointed Showing vs. Curacao, Advances in Gold Cup," 30 June 2019 The robber returned to that Chula Vista California Coast Credit Union on Feb. 23 and escaped with money, but a camera on state Route 125 caught the license plate of Doron’s Lexus. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Neuroscientist ordered to trial in bank robbery series," 28 June 2019 Four women escaped with minor injuries Thursday after getting into a crash so forceful that the axle and wheels were ripped from under one of the cars, rescuers said. Tonya Alanez, sun-sentinel.com, "4 women escape serious injury as violent crash rips axle and wheels off car," 27 June 2019 In a game that featured seven home runs (six by the Dodgers) and 33 combined hits, Jansen escaped with a scoreless ninth. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ losing streak against Dodgers hits 12 games as closer Wade Davis continues to struggle," 27 June 2019 The victim was able to escape when the suspect went to another apartment, according to the arrest citation. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Man was kidnapped, put in dog collar and tortured at Louisville apartment, police say," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After blasting off from a launchpad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7 a.m., the Orion spacecraft initiated its escape system 55 seconds into flight, jettisoning the crew capsule to safety. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, "NASA completes key test on Orion, the spacecraft Trump wants take astronauts to the moon," 2 July 2019 Amid the smoke, the escape system pulled the NASA spacecraft rapidly away from the Peacekeeper booster. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Orion spacecraft flew Tuesday morning, and it looked pretty spectacular," 2 July 2019 After blasting off from a launchpad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7 a.m., the Orion spacecraft initiated its escape system less than a minute into flight, jettisoning the crew capsule to safety. Anchorage Daily News, "NASA completes key test on Orion, the spacecraft going to the moon," 2 July 2019 Smith began using Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest as a side hustle to pay off student loan debt, turning it into a six-figure business by selling escape room packages that are modified for the classroom. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "How former teachers are making $100,000 or more, and you can too.," 1 July 2019 There are a couple of escape room-like experiences. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "Halo: Outpost Discovery fan event launches in Orlando," 1 July 2019 Both offer hiking and a refreshing escape from the city. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Clairemont: From post-war housing boom to ‘Fast Times’ inspiration," 30 June 2019 Castillo pulled off an incredible escape act the fifth. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Bullpen melts down in Cincinnati Reds' 6-0 loss to Chicago Cubs," 29 June 2019 The English trio has always had a knack for relaxing escape music, with its greatest trance classics creating safe spaces of melody and mood. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Above & Beyond Announce Yoga Event Series in Conjunction With Their New 'Flow State' LP," 27 June 2019

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

18 Jul 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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