fire escape


: a device for escape from a burning building
especially : a metal stairway attached to the outside of a building

Examples of fire escape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two buildings over, a neighbor in the second-floor apartment has put a litter box on the fire escape outside their window for community cats to shelter. Jill Terreri Ramos, New York Times, 30 Dec. 2023 The prescriptions also can reduce potential liability in the event a fire escapes. James Pollard, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Dec. 2023 One fan’s TikTok of the two artists filming the music video from an NYC fire escape instantly fueled social media buzz for the song prior to its release — and the song and video quickly justified the hype, their sounds and personalities perfectly complementing one another. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 14 Dec. 2023 Critics called Picasso’s Standing Female Nude a glorified fire escape. Diane Scharper, Washington Examiner, 12 Jan. 2024 Scaling a wobbly steel fire escape, clinging to the side of a building, Mr. Khalaf found a spot on the rooftop that had a glimmer of a signal. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 Jan. 2024 That includes a noodle factory in College Point; a viral purveyor of scallion-pancake burritos that until recently served exclusively from its fire escape; and a spot serving up Cantonese classics in Homecrest, one of the city’s smallest satellite Chinatowns neighboring Sheepshead Bay. Lisa Wong MacAbasco, Vogue, 13 Nov. 2023 One apartment frequently catches fire, but the stairs on the fire escape were sawed off and sold as scrap long ago. John Eligon, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2023 The oak tree curled along the red fire escape that led to the workshop from a back entrance. Hazlitt, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fire escape.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1725, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fire escape was in 1725

Dictionary Entries Near fire escape

Cite this Entry

“Fire escape.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

fire escape

: a stairway or ladder that provides a means of escape from a building in case of fire

More from Merriam-Webster on fire escape

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