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 Some escape the crowds by soaring above it all, although even the skies are getting a bit crowded as more and more kids discover the Team AK ski jumping club. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage skiers touch the sky with Team AK’s nordic combined program," 13 Jan. 2021 Sometimes the one that got away doesn’t escape forever. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "The Biggest Bucks of 2020," 1 Jan. 2021 There is also the possibility that café animals could escape—or be dumped or abandoned—and establish invasive populations, both McMillan and Scheffers say. Danielle Beurteaux, Scientific American, "Exotic Animal Cafés Featuring Otters, Lizards and Owls Raise Alarms," 30 Dec. 2020 The door project became an outlet and escape initially for Juarez — and eventually for other people on base, too. Washington Post, "‘You forget you are in a war zone for a little bit’: How one woman’s art in Afghanistan started a chain reaction," 29 Dec. 2020 Brexiteers are pleased that Britain will be out of the single market and customs union and escape the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (though this overlooks the fact that Northern Ireland will remain covered by all three). The Economist, "The post-Brexit trade agreement leaves many questions unanswered," 27 Dec. 2020 Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Tesla won’t escape much in the way of California corporate taxes because those are based on the share of sales taking place in the state. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: California isn’t ‘hemorrhaging’ people, but there are reasons for concern," 24 Dec. 2020 Though normally used in refrigerators or air conditioners, HFCs can escape into the atmosphere and trap heat thousands of times more effectively than carbon dioxide. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: The 5 Biggest Climate Stories of 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 But even those who don’t care about deaths, or hospitalizations, or the long-term effect of the virus cannot escape the pandemic’s impact. Georgia Garvey, chicagotribune.com, "Column: On the longest night of the year, let’s huddle together for warmth," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Chrono Decoder counts down from 60 minutes and creates a real escape room atmosphere. Popular Science, "The best spooky board games for late night gaming," 8 Jan. 2021 An escape from the ⋅ year where every week lasts five ⋅ is my only wish ♦ Check temperature. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Haikus say ‘So long, 2020!’ from cleveland.com readers," 23 Dec. 2020 Judith Moskowitz, a social psychologist and professor at Northwestern University, says her extended family is going to try out a Zoom escape room this year. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "If you're alone for the holidays, read this," 23 Nov. 2020 The only escape from the verdict of the Office of Corporations would, apparently, be a direct appeal to Congress. Richard Morrison, National Review, "Biden Brain Trust: Forget the Billionaires, Guillotine the Corporations," 23 Nov. 2020 Interwoven into what initially feels like a whimsical escape are existential conundrums of love and loss, family and freedom, life and death. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, "A chance to redo the past in ‘Before the Coffee Gets Cold’," 19 Nov. 2020 Willis was dominant through the tournament up until the final, allowing just two escape points in four bonus point victories leading to the final. Brant Parsons, orlandosentinel.com, "Knockout Christmas Classic showcases top talent in SE," 30 Dec. 2020 Seven have been charged as adults with rioting, second-degree escape and malicious destruction of property and were ordered to be held without bail at hearings yesterday, records show. Justin Fenton, baltimoresun.com, "Youth took over Baltimore County juvenile treatment center in Christmas Eve uprising, police say," 29 Dec. 2020 Lopez might have had another, grimmer reason for seeking escape. Amy Wang, Anchorage Daily News, "Barry Lopez, award-winning and influential author of ‘Arctic Dreams,’ dies at 75," 27 Dec. 2020 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, "Authorities searching for Jackson County prisoner who escaped from work release," 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, "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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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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Escape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/escape. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for escape

escape

verb
How to pronounce escape (audio)

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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Comments on escape

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