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 Initially, the Moon's trine to idealistic Neptune creates a desire to escape into a more beautiful world and her sextile to passionate Mars gives us the strength to power past obstacles. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for February 23, 2021," 23 Feb. 2021 More than any other state’s power sector, it is structured to work like a free market, and it is cut off from the rest of America’s electricity infrastructure in order to escape federal regulation. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: The Great Climate Bill of 2021 Is Being Shaped Now," 23 Feb. 2021 Where the weather is coldest, some resorted to risky, last-ditch attempts to escape the cold. BostonGlobe.com, "58 people died in last week’s frigid weather," 22 Feb. 2021 If the crime is a felony and the suspect attempts to escape, the law also allows any person to detain a suspect. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "Kemp unveils bipartisan 'overhaul' of Georgia's citizen's arrest law," 17 Feb. 2021 According to Isabelle Simpson, a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University, charter cities reflect a desire to escape the entanglements of politics. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Nevada’s Sales Pitch to Silicon Valley: You Can Create Your Own Government Here," 16 Feb. 2021 By sharing her crystals, and therefore her powers, with Greg, Isabel gives him a chance to escape his rather miserable reality for something more fun. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "Bliss Isn’t Saying What It Thinks It’s Saying," 8 Feb. 2021 Both teams, in an effort to escape Santa Clara County’s restrictions, have been playing away games in the Pac-12, home games in Santa Cruz, and games in other locations. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Stanford faces backlash over bonuses to football, basketball staff amid sports cuts," 4 Feb. 2021 My first feeling was claustrophobia—a frantic urgency to escape, get off this road, slip into another story line. Rebekah Taussig, Time, "A Partner With Cancer, a New Baby and a Pandemic: How I Learned to Live in a Tangle of Joy and Pain," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For both pilots and passengers, even just a few moments spent in the air, marveling at the ground below, can bring the escape and fresh perspective so many of us need. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Helicopter Tours Are Getting Guests Into the Sky During COVID-19," 10 Feb. 2021 He was then kidnapped by masked men, tortured and shot but managed to jump out of a car and escape, the court said. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Court orders U.S. to bring back Guatemalan deportee who faced torture — but ruling is too late," 25 Jan. 2021 Scientists are always on the lookout for signs of potential escape. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Can an AI Predict the Language of Viral Mutation?," 14 Jan. 2021 Your mental flights of fancy can offer you some form of escape as well as the excitement that the material world omits. oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 13, 2021: Happy birthday Patrick Dempsey; Pisces, lighten the mood," 13 Jan. 2021 Passover, which is also called Pesach in Hebrew, calls on Jews to remember the story of the Israelites' escape from ancient Egypt. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, "What Is Passover? Everything You Need to Know About the Spring Festival," 15 Dec. 2020 Both board game and escape room enthusiast sites also increasingly review new products in this genre. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Meet the new generation of puzzle-makers bringing mystery to your door," 1 Dec. 2020 Saturday brings the promise of a sweet escape, as flirtatious Venus forms a trine with imaginative Neptune. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 29 Nov. 2020 Establish a meeting spot outside the home and practice the escape plan twice a year. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fires displaced more than 500 people in Wisconsin in January. Now the American Red Cross needs help.," 5 Feb. 2021 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

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Escape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/escape. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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Comments on escape

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