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 Louisiana police have accused a couple of escaping from a hospital with their critically ill newborn baby and driving 400 miles to Alabama where they were taken into custody. Fox News, "Louisiana newborn taken from hospital is found in Alabama after search, parents arrested," 13 Jan. 2020 Cloudiness acts as an insulating blanket, preventing warmth from escaping the ground level. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Clouds can’t hold back springlike temperatures this weekend," 10 Jan. 2020 Louisville breathed a sigh of relief from escaping with a 62-58 win over Syracuse, Elizabeth Balogun was thinking too much. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville women's basketball escapes first ACC play with a win over Syracuse," 29 Dec. 2019 Smoke could be smelled all around the area toward Point Pleasant Beach because of weather conditions preventing it from escaping into the atmosphere Thursday. USA TODAY, "Surfing Santas, endangered red wolves, who owns the letter ‘O’?: News from around our 50 states," 28 Dec. 2019 The web was once celebrated as a democratizing force and a means of escaping institutional control. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "The Real Trouble With Silicon Valley," 17 Dec. 2019 The driver obliged her request, but blocked her from escaping and made her get back in the vehicle. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "Minnesota women among plaintiffs suing Lyft after allegedly being raped by drivers," 6 Dec. 2019 In both movies, there is a dream of escaping Seventies New York balanced against the certainty that this will never happen. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Why Al Pacino Matters," 29 Nov. 2019 Black holes form when a star runs out of fuel and collapses on itself, creating a strong gravitational pull that prevents anything - even light - from escaping. Katie Mettler, chicagotribune.com, "Scientists find ‘monster’ black hole so big they didn’t think it was possible," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For patients like Tole and Kayla White, who is 27 and lives in Arlington, the trains were not only an escape, but a way to motivate themselves through their recovery. Dana Branham, Dallas News, "At Children’s Medical Center Dallas, beloved trains will find a new home inside hospital," 9 Jan. 2020 But another part was the great escape from American history and its burdens of guilt. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "The Designated Mourner," 7 Jan. 2020 Ghosn’s escape is embarrassing for the Japanese government, not only undermining its legal system but also raising serious questions about border control. Washington Post, "Accused of serious crimes, he smuggled himself out of Japan. But Carlos Ghosn may escape extradition from Lebanon, too.," 2 Jan. 2020 But a dreamy escape isn’t the only thing that Massey is accomplishing with Spiral (x,y,z). Akili King, Vogue, "Inside the New Tribeca Salon That Caters to Curly Hair," 18 Dec. 2019 This was a lucky escape for the inner solar system; had Jupiter plunged through it, Earth and Venus might never have formed. The Economist, "How the planets got their spots," 18 Dec. 2019 Given the highway’s high traffic volume and frequent backups, a quick escape from an approaching fire is unlikely. Christina Larson, The Denver Post, "As California thins forests to limit fire risk, some homeowners resist," 13 Dec. 2019 My first school bus conversion (skoolie) was an escape. Will Sutherland, Popular Mechanics, "How to Convert a School Bus to a RV," 4 Dec. 2019 The escape of Islamic State militants in the ensuing chaos is raising fears that the terrorist group that Trump often boasts of defeating could come roaring back to life. Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: Trump’s rash exit from Syria emboldens Russia and horrifies Israel," 15 Oct. 2019 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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Escape.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/escape. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on escape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for escape

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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