\ ˈflē How to pronounce flee (audio) \
fled\ ˈfled How to pronounce fled (audio) \; fleeing

Definition of flee

intransitive verb

1a : to run away often from danger or evil : fly The family fled from the war-torn zone.
b : to hurry toward a place of security Refugees fled to a neighboring country.
2 : to pass away swiftly : vanish mists fleeing before the rising sun

transitive verb

: to run away from : shun Many people fled the city to escape the fighting.

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Examples of flee in a Sentence

The family fled from Nazi Germany to Britain in 1936. He was accused of trying to flee the scene of the accident. Many people fled the city to escape the fighting. He was forced to flee the country.
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Recent Examples on the Web

At Seattle Met, James Ross Gardner profiles the Tacoma Refugee Choir, a choral group with many who have fled war and conflict in places like Africa and Ukraine in a bid to find a new life in America. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Sing a Song of Hope: ‘Everything will be all right’," 7 June 2019 Together, they were designed to bring order to a rough industry where victims sometimes pay pretend roofers who then flee. Dallas News, "The ‘free roof’ scam that saw roofers pay homeowners’ insurance deductibles is about to go away," 6 June 2019 To Be Frank Josef Frank, an Austrian who fled the Nazis in the 1930s and moved to Stockholm, found a professional home at Svenskt Tenn, Sweden’s illustrious interior design store. Stephen Whitlock, WSJ, "A Savvy Traveler’s Guide to Shopping in Stockholm," 7 May 2019 Your neighbours opened their doors to those who were fleeing the violence. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Gave a Moving Speech at Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque. Here's the Full Transcript.," 26 Apr. 2019 According to Vice, Rahaf flew to Kuwait with her family, fleeing to Thailand on her way to Australia to seek asylum. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Saudi Teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun May Get Asylum From Australia After Fleeing Her Family's Alleged Mistreatment," 8 Jan. 2019 The youths fled on foot and in vehicles, police said. Andres Picon, BostonGlobe.com, "Worcester police probe shooting of 22-year-old man," 12 July 2018 After the shooting stopped, the Camry crashed into a fence behind the 4700 block of Baring Avenue while the suspects fled on foot, according to the Fife. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Man fatally shot in East Chicago alley, police say," 11 July 2018 The male and female who fled on the motorcycle were treated at the scene then taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Collier said. City News Service, Pomerado News, "Two injured in Poway following brief motorcycle chase," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flee.' 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 flee

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for flee

Middle English flen, from Old English flēon; akin to Old High German fliohan to flee

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Statistics for flee

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for flee

The first known use of flee was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for flee



English Language Learners Definition of flee

: to run away from danger
: to run away from (a place)


\ ˈflē How to pronounce flee (audio) \
fled\ ˈfled \; fleeing

Kids Definition of flee

: to run away or away from Animals fled the fire.

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More from Merriam-Webster on flee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flee

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flee

Spanish Central: Translation of flee

Nglish: Translation of flee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flee for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flee

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showing courage and determination

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