1

escape

play
verb es·cape \ i-ˈskāp , e- , dialectal ik-ˈskāp \

Definition of escape

escaped; escaping
intransitive verb
1 a :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
4 a :to issue from
  • a smile escaped me
b :to be uttered involuntarily by
  • a sigh of relief escaped her

escaper

noun

Examples of escape in a Sentence

  1. They managed to escape from the burning building.

  2. He needed a vacation to escape the routine of daily life.

  3. She moved to the city to escape the memory of her mother's death.

  4. trying to help people to escape poverty

  5. trying to help people to escape from poverty

  6. He succeeded in escaping punishment for many years.

  7. A few passengers somehow escaped injury.

  8. She barely escaped death when her car slid off the road.

  9. Several passengers escaped without injury.

Recent Examples of escape from the Web

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.

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.”

Origin and Etymology of escape

Middle English, from Anglo-French escaper, eschaper, from Vulgar Latin *excappare, from Latin ex- + Late Latin cappa head covering, cloak

escape Synonyms

Synonyms
abscond, break out (of), clear out, flee, fly, get out, lam, run away, run off, break free, fight shy of, keep clear of, stay clear of, steer clear of
Related Words
avoid, elude, evade, lose, shun; decamp, depart, elope, exit, go, leave, move, pull out, quit, sally (forth), shove (off), take off, walk out; disentangle, extricate; bring off, emancipate, enfranchise, free, liberate, loose, loosen, manumit, redeem, release, rescue, spring, unbind, uncage, unchain, unfetter
Near Antonyms
abide, dwell, hang around, linger, remain, stay, stick around, tarry; come back, return

Synonym Discussion of escape

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

2

escape

noun

Definition of escape

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

Examples of escape in a Sentence

  1. The prisoners attempted a daring escape.

  2. He celebrated his escape from his boring job with a long vacation.

  3. She had a lucky escape when she wasn't injured in the accident.

  4. She managed to avoid serious injury, but it was a narrow escape.

  5. The door was locked; there was no escape.

  6. Gardening offered an escape from her busy life.

  7. an accidental escape of poisonous gases

  8. trying to prevent further escape of liquid

Recent Examples of escape from the Web

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.

First Known Use of escape

14th century


3

escape

adjective

Definition of escape

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

Recent Examples of escape from the Web

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.

First Known Use of escape

1817


ESCAPE Defined for English Language Learners

escape

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verb

Definition of escape for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of escape for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

escape

play
verb es·cape \ i-ˈskāp \

Definition of escape for Students

escaped; escaping
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.

History for escape

Picture a person who is held by a cape or cloak. The person may be able to slip out of the garment and so escape from the captor. The word escape is based on such a picture. The word escape came from an Old French verb escaper or eschaper. This word in turn came ultimately from the Latin words ex, “out of,” and cappa, “head covering, cloak.”


2

escape

noun

Definition of escape for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

escape

play
verb es·cape \ is-ˈkāp \

medical Definition of escape

escaped; escaping
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

2

escape

noun

medical Definition of escape

: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

3

escape

adjective

medical Definition of escape

:providing a means of escape
  • escape literature

Law Dictionary

1

escape

intransitive verb es·cape

legal Definition of escape

escaped; escaping
:to depart from lawful custody with the intent of avoiding confinement or the administration of justice

2

escape

noun

legal Definition of escape

1 :an act or instance of escaping
2 :the criminal offense of escaping


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