flee

verb
\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Accompanied by more than 60 other doctors, nurses and clinicians from Christ, Barin spent 10 days triaging and administering primary care to refugees who had fled the civil war in Syria. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "Advocate humanitarian award, scholarship fund spotlight Christ Hospital's medical relief work," 4 July 2018 Bird Box is about a mother fleeing with her children in the wake of an unknown global terror. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "5 New Netflix Movies We’re Excited About This Fall," 10 Aug. 2018 However, Holocaust researchers have also collected ample evidence of Polish villagers who murdered Jews fleeing the Nazis, or Polish blackmailers who preyed on the Jews for financial gain and stole their property. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israel hosts east European leaders after summit scrapped," 19 Feb. 2019 Arizona last year attracted more than 122,000 newcomers, many fleeing states with crushing regulation and taxes. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "An Arizona Occupational Welcome," 18 Feb. 2019 Anger turned to sobbing turned to fleeing the set and getting a hotel room. Zoe Weiner, Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen Says She Once Had a ‘Meltdown’ Over a Woman in John Legend’s Music Video," 30 July 2018 All sorts of Americans, from Mormons fleeing persecution to those eyeing a potential Gold Rush, settled into the area. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Hoover Dam Changed America—And It Might Do It Again," 27 July 2018 The most interesting part of Juli Hayden’s commentary is not her thoughts regarding immigration, calls for border security or her perception that fleeing Central American migrants are an imminent threat. latimes.com, "Immigrants want what we have: the American Dream," 12 July 2018 That led to imaginative stories about a fugitive fleeing a lynch mob. The Economist, "A mummy’s final meal adds to an ancient mystery," 12 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flee

Dictionary Entries near flee

fledgeless

fledgling

fledgy

flee

fleece

fleeceable

fleeced

Statistics for flee

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flee

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flee

flee

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flee

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

flee

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

Kids Definition of flee

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up flee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!