transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay.
a hotel catering primarily to transient guests
transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end.
fame in the movies is transitory
ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration.
many slang words are ephemeral
momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state.
my feelings of guilt were only momentary
fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult.
let a fugitive smile flit across his face
fleeting moments of joy
evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality.
the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation
Examples of fugitive in a Sentence
As he daydreamed, fugitive thoughts passed through his mind.
that fugitive trait called artistic creativity Noun
They discovered that he was a fugitive of the law.
Recent Examples on the Web
Willis said that, after her office indicted members of the U.S. Marshals task force, the federal agency rolled back its fugitive investigations in the Atlanta area.—Simone Weichselbaum, NBC News, 6 Dec. 2023 John Wick: Chapter 4 Keanu Reeves returns to the title role of a supremely lethal fugitive assassin in this fourth installment of the vibrantly violent action franchise.—Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 Organic materials, including food waste, are responsible for 58% of fugitive methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills, the EPA found.—Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 1 Nov. 2023 For most of Wednesday night, one of their tenants stood in the backyard with a gun, watching for the fugitive shooter.—Robert Klemko, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2023 The movie begins shifting more awkwardly between the misanthropic writer posing as a fugitive convict (the excuse Monk claims to avoid press appearances) and Monk trying to manage his mother’s health, a new relationship and his brother Cliff’s own personal reckonings.—Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2023 He was accused of funneling money to Malaysian fugitive Low Taek Jho (aka Jho Low) for political campaigns, as well as making false statements in connection with the conspiracy.—Evan Minsker, Pitchfork, 18 Oct. 2023 The original lineup, announced by Mr. Shor in July, had to be revised multiple times to remove people from outside the region whose only qualification was loyalty to the fugitive millionaire before legislators voted to endorse it on Wednesday.—Andrew Higgins, New York Times, 24 Sep. 2023 During the 60 years or so of its existence, the Underground Railroad may have helped as many as 100,000 fugitive slaves to safety in the North and Canada.—Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, 15 Sep. 2023
This is somebody who's a fugitive and desperately trying to get away.—Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2023 Scott was listed as an inmate in the Clark County Detention Center, on a warrant charging her as a fugitive from another state, jail records showed.—Antonio Planas, NBC News, 21 Oct. 2023 When a group of attackers pursues Nick Fury, Cap is labeled a fugitive and goes on the run with the help of Black Widow and Falcon to find the real enemy.—Jacqueline Weiss, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2023 The star witness is literally a fugitive from the law.—Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 29 Sep. 2023 The highest-profile beneficiary of the new law would be Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia who has been a fugitive of Spanish courts since trying and failing to declare the region’s independence six years ago.—TIME, 13 Nov. 2023 But, throughout those decades, flamingo sightings were incredibly rare, and the birds were usually assumed to be fugitives from the racetrack.—Michael Adno, The New Yorker, 26 Oct. 2023 Both parents were fugitives, having finally escaped enslavement in Virginia after several unsuccessful attempts.—IEEE Spectrum, 25 Oct. 2023 Low, who remains a fugitive of justice, has been dubbed by associates and media outlets as the Asian Great Gatsby.—Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fugitive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Adjective and Noun
Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French fugitif, from Latin fugitivus, from fugitus, past participle of fugere to flee; akin to Greek pheugein to flee
Middle English fugitif, fugitive "one who is running away," from early French fugitif and Latin fugitivus (both, same meaning), from Latin fugitus, past participle of fugere "to run away, flee" — related to centrifugal, refugee