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

According to Deadline, Julianne will star as Jolene, a small-town girl with a free spirit who dreams of escaping her simple life in Georgia to pursue a career in music. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Julianne Hough Will Star in Dolly Parton's Netflix Series," 31 Dec. 2018 Controlling judicial precedent holds that states may not escape federal preemption by regulating indirectly through their spending, procurement, or other commercial powers what they are forbidden from regulating directly. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law," 19 Oct. 2018 The Roanoke Times reported that Cohen and his film crew had narrowly escaped an angry mob. Bethonie Butler, chicagotribune.com, "Here's how Sacha Baron Cohen fools celebrities into embarrassing interviews, starting with 'Da Ali G Show'," 13 July 2018 And yet somehow, that protection — that standard of fairness, that benefit of the doubt, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty — has escaped my grasp. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Attorney General Curtis Hill: Full transcript of his response to groping allegations," 9 July 2018 The permitting process was so poorly understood by the employees involved that the failure to file background checks had escaped the notice of Wilde’s supervisor for 13 months. Steve Contorno, miamiherald, "New information shows deeper problems with bungled concealed-weapon background checks," 6 July 2018 The Gurnee robbery involved a man and a woman wearing red face masks armed with an AK-47, according to an FBI statement, which added that the pair escaped in a late-model Nissan Rogue. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "FBI charges man, woman in string of suburban bank robberies using AK-47, including one in Gurnee," 5 July 2018 Early estimates were that more than eight million gallons of water escaped. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Recent 48-inch water main breaks in Philadelphia," 3 July 2018 Well, without the oils that your skin makes, the bricks can separate, allowing water to escape from your skin (a process referred to as transepidermal water loss) and causing dryness and flakiness. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "What You Should Know Before Using a Trendy New Face Oil," 13 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So much of this friendship is built around utility, around the idea that this person, this one, can be an escape route, a way out of the neighborhood. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "How HBO’s My Brilliant Friend translates Elena Ferrante’s beloved book to TV," 20 Nov. 2018 But monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Thai soccer team pen letters to families while rescuers prepare 'buddy dive' operation," 2 Oct. 2018 His followers also bought property near the facility as the starting point the mile-long (1.6-kilometer-long) escape route, Lopez said. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "Witness: El Chapo’s wife was in on plans for prison escape," 23 Jan. 2019 Saying no to invitations provides a temporary escape but is not the answer. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "I Hate Social Situations—Help!," 19 Mar. 2019 In the late '60s and early 70s, Marlon Brando was looking for an escape from his life in the spotlight. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Billy Zane Will Play Marlon Brando in Stranger than Fiction Biopic Waltzing with Brando," 14 Jan. 2019 The warden is busy though, torturing Archie, who is tied to his cell bed and claiming full responsibility for the escape. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 5: Can Archie Escape From a Teenage Fight Club?!," 15 Nov. 2018 That cut off main routes — used for escape as well as for rescuers — in the Hampton Roads area and elsewhere. Jeff Martin, The Seattle Times, "In simulation, Category 4 hurricane devastated East Coast," 11 Sep. 2018 Italian media claims that the glamorous couple went to the Clooneys’ waterfront home for a quick escape. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Where in the World Are Harry and Meghan?," 20 Aug. 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

11 Apr 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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