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

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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 gunman fled, and escaped capture, officers said. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Man shot in leg after argument in south Houston street," 8 July 2018 Some passengers, in fear, attempted to escape through the train’s windows. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Acid-tripping neo-Nazi from Missouri disabled train to ‘save it from black people,’ feds say," 13 July 2018 So many of these delicate manipulations continue to escape robotic control. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Robots Can't Hold Stuff Very Well. But You Can Help," 13 July 2018 The liquid took time to evaporate and spread, giving thousands a chance to escape. The Economist, "On the hanging of Shoko Asahara, Japan’s nerve-gas guru," 12 July 2018 Long story short, June sacrificed her last, best chance to escape Gilead in the season's final moments, handing her newborn to Emily and opting to stay behind as a secret getaway truck drove off. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "We survived another grueling season of 'The Handmaid's Tale,' but here are 3 things we need from Season 3," 12 July 2018 Drawing such lines would be against both the protocol and intent behind the creation of internet culture at large — a culture that was designed to escape the responsibilities of the social order. Film Crit Hulk, The Verge, "Don’t feed the trolls, and other hideous lies," 12 July 2018 Its shift from close-ups to wide shots in many episodes underlines the ways all of these characters are at once trapped by Gilead and a part of it, unable to escape their own complicity. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 was masterful. But it may have broken the show.," 11 July 2018 But when the Marthas suddenly—in a slightly irritating Deus Ex Machina way that doesn’t feel particularly earned—arrange for June to escape Gilead, Serena does the unthinkable and lets June take baby Nicole with her. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Finale Offers a Light in the Darkness," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Canadian Security Footage Shows How Not to Pull Off a Heist The couple's escape attempt plays like a slapstick silent film. Luke Darby, GQ, "Canadian Security Footage Shows How Not to Pull Off a Heist," 1 July 2018 But death or injury can result when people approach too closely or are cut off from escape by branching flows. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Please don’t take selfies with the deadly molten lava, Hawaii authorities ask," 20 June 2018 Any escape attempt, Clark told Y.L., would result in violence being visited upon Y.L.'s family and child. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "She smuggled a woman into the U.S. to have a baby. Now, she'll do time for slavery," 5 June 2018 Lava has already overrun the main road, Highway 132, leaving people in about 500 homes and vacation rentals with just one escape route left. CBS News, "Hawaii man pulls gun on neighbor as tensions run high in community overrun by lava," 31 May 2018 During their big escape attempt, Han and Qi’ra get separated, foiled by both the Empire and Crimson Dawn, a powerful criminal syndicate. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Solo: A Star Wars Story is the safest, most forgettable Star Wars movie," 24 May 2018 Cut off from escape, thousands died from cold, sickness and starvation, as well as group suicide. Karoline Kan, New York Times, "A Chinese Town’s Deep Bonds With Japan Bring Wealth and Hatred," 15 May 2018 Glay was charged with first-degree escape, second-degree assault, riot, malicious destruction of property under $1,000 and theft under $100. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "Eight teens charged with riot, thwarted escape at Frederick County juvenile detention center," 9 Apr. 2018 Darlington Storm Shivers, 26, of the 1900 block of Poole Road, was charged Sunday with second-degree escape. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "The Aegis Police Blotter," 27 Mar. 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

7 Nov 2018

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 \
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

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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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