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 Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped early Monday morning from the Butler County Jail. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Authorities searching for inmate who escaped from Butler County Jail," 4 May 2020 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the U.S. government was taking seriously the possibility that the coronavirus escaped from a Wuhan lab during a recent interview on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Majority of US spy agencies believe the coronavirus escaped from Wuhan lab," 2 May 2020 She and her two sisters baked and cooked and played cards — Garbage and Exploding Kittens — escaping from remote school into their yard as often as possible. Washington Post, "This year, April was... Death," 2 May 2020 Then there’s the fact that many people want to use today’s entertainment to escape from the world’s crisis — not be reminded of it with a very on-the-nose TV series. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Netflix Announces A Quarantine-Themed Show From OITNB Creator — & Twitter Has Mixed Feelings," 29 Apr. 2020 The facility has been the center of multiple conspiracy theories, including one that’s circulated on Chinese social media since late January that the new coronavirus escaped from the lab. Fortune, "Wuhan lab denies link to virus outbreak after Trump fans speculation that China may be ‘knowingly responsible’," 20 Apr. 2020 Workers at the shelter recognized the two, who escaped from Columbia Correctional Institution more than 100 miles north in Portage on Thursday morning. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Escaped prisoners arrested in Rockford after visiting homeless shelter," 17 Apr. 2020 While fantasy fiction allows us to escape from reality, sci-fi provides us with a window through which to confront our darkest fears. Ritoban Mukherjee, Quartz, "Apocalyptic sci-fi is helping me cope with the Covid-19 crisis—yes, really," 8 Apr. 2020 Hemorrhage—blood escaping profusely from a ruptured vessel—is a leading cause of potentially preventable death. Jillian Kramer, Scientific American, "New Bandage Repels Blood and Promotes Clotting," 1 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Reading Disappearing into a good book is a welcome escape from the stress and chaos of daily life — even when there isn’t a pandemic. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, "The ultimate parents’ guide to education and activity resources," 28 Apr. 2020 In that way, the surprises or moments of happiness found on TikTok aren't merely an escape or a distraction. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Stuck at home, families find a new way to bond: creating TikTok videos," 19 Apr. 2020 Other than that, though, the video is the perfect escape. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Rainsford’s “2 Cents” Music Video Is One Latex-Filled Dream," 17 Apr. 2020 Quarantine life is quite monotonous and getting dolled up has been a nice escape from the banality of the day to day. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "These Celebrities Go Without Makeup During Quarantine And They Look Amazing," 13 Apr. 2020 At a time when many of us are experiencing our own moments of sadness and anxiety, The Magicians series can be the escape the Fillory books were for Quentin. Sarah Stankorb, The Atlantic, "The Magicians Is Your Next Great Binge Watch," 8 Apr. 2020 There is no escape into sports, because there are no sports. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Watching ESPN During the Coronavirus Lockdown," 4 Apr. 2020 When in need of a few minutes alone, taking time to focus on completing a puzzle can be a peaceful escape, according to the report. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Coronavirus isolation has everyone looking for jigsaw puzzles — but they're tough to find," 31 Mar. 2020 Okay, this isn’t an escape; this is a deep dive right into the scary topic of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Sunset Magazine, "10 Books to Read Right Now," 19 Mar. 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

8 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Escape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/escape. Accessed 31 May. 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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