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

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

Then, after escaping Poirier’s grip, Nurmagomedov swiftly took the back and locked up a rear-naked choke that Poirier just about managed to defend. Simon Head, MMA Junkie, "UFC 242 results: Khabib Nurmagomedov submits Dustin Poirier in third to retain title," 7 Sep. 2019 According to conservation services at Audobon Florida, radar images often show birds in the eye of hurricanes, unable to escape through the eyewall. Ricky Pinela, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian has birds trapped within its eye, meteorologist says," 6 Sep. 2019 In between were vast expanses of forest where Maya people often fled to escape colonial violence and oppression. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "In search of the ‘white Jaguar’: Archaeologists travel deep into the jungle to find a lost Maya city," 5 Sep. 2019 Many of them ended up in the Burgue as refugees to escape being murdered by The Pact's occupying forces. Jennifer Ouellette, Wired, "Carnival Row brings a Richly Textured Fantasy World to Life," 4 Sep. 2019 Only five crew members sleeping on the top deck were able to escape by jumping into the water and steering a small boat to safety. Stefanie Dazio, Anchorage Daily News, "34 presumed dead in dive boat fire off California, officials say," 3 Sep. 2019 Many of them ended up in the Burgue as refugees to escape being murdered by The Pact's occupying forces. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Carnival Row brings a richly textured fantasy world to vibrant life," 3 Sep. 2019 Johnson, by contrast, is looking to escape opposition from the people’s elected representatives. Laura Beers, The Conversation, "Why the queen said yes to Boris Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament," 29 Aug. 2019 But how could gamma rays produced by annihilating dark matter in the core avoid scattering before escaping the sun? Quanta Magazine, "The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined," 27 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Luke escapes and finds his way south to the town of DuPray, where unexpected help awaits. William Sheehan, Washington Post, "Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’ turns our political moment into gripping horror," 9 Sep. 2019 Let a little steam escape and then slurp out the soup. Glendale News-Press, "Review: Glendale’s Havlabar serves up cheesy khachapuri and Georgian soup dumplings," 5 Sep. 2019 Then, on Claudio's second pitch, Addison Russell hit into a 5-4-3 double play, making the left-hander's escape job a quick one as well. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 4, Cubs 0: Christian Yelich's three-run homer clinches must-win series at Wrigley Field," 1 Sep. 2019 At whatever point Khandava’s creatures attempted escape, there rushed those mighty heroes to prevent flight. Girish Shahane, Quartz India, "The Amazon fires have a 3,000-year-old parallel in the Indian epic Mahabharata," 30 Aug. 2019 Based on what happened, police booked Donzo into the Pima County Jail in Tucson on charges of escape and aggravated assault on a police officer. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Man accused of biting police during Phoenix homicide investigation," 29 Aug. 2019 Another similar light was placed on the side without an escape platform. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Nanoparticles Will Give You Superhuman Night Vision," 27 Aug. 2019 The chargeless neutrons escape from the magnetic confinement and transfer their kinetic energy to the walls of the vessel, generating thermal energy. Giulia Pacchioni, Scientific American, "The Road to Fusion," 26 Aug. 2019 Georvaughn Campbell, 21, is being held on a $50,000 cash bond and is charged with money laundering and escape. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "21-year-old arrested after skipping trial in connection to 9-person money laundering scheme," 24 Aug. 2019

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

12 Sep 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with escape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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