fugitive

adjective
fu·​gi·​tive | \ ˈfyü-jə-tiv How to pronounce fugitive (audio) \

Definition of fugitive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : running away or intending flight a fugitive slave a fugitive debtor
2 : moving from place to place : wandering the fugitive clouds of the sky— K. K. Darrow
3a : being of short duration the journalist … is concerned only with the fugitive moment— A. L. Guerard
b : difficult to grasp or retain : elusive thought is clear or muddy, graspable or fugitive— J. M. Barzun
c : likely to evaporate, deteriorate, change, fade, or disappear dyed with fugitive colors
4 : being of transient (see transient entry 1 sense 1) interest fugitive essays

fugitive

noun

Definition of fugitive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person who flees or tries to escape: such as
a : a person who flees a country or location to escape danger (such as war) or persecution : refugee
b : a person (such as a suspect, witness, or defendant) involved in a criminal case who tries to elude law enforcement especially by fleeing the jurisdiction

called also fugitive from justice

2 : something elusive or hard to find

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Other Words from fugitive

Adjective

fugitively adverb
fugitiveness noun

Synonyms for fugitive

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for fugitive

Adjective

transient, transitory, ephemeral, momentary, fugitive, fleeting, evanescent mean lasting or staying only a short time. 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

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Noun

Fugitive was adopted into English as both a noun and an adjective in the 14th century. Both forms came to Middle English by way of Middle French from the Latin adjective fugitivus. Fugitivus, in turn, comes from fugitus, the past participle of the verb fugere, meaning "to flee." Since its adoption, the noun fugitive has been used to identify a motley group of individuals: runaway slaves and soldiers, on-the-run criminals, exiles, refugees, and vagabonds. Eventually, it also developed a less commonly used extended sense for things which are difficult to find or pin down.

Examples of fugitive in a Sentence

Adjective As he daydreamed, fugitive thoughts passed through his mind. that fugitive trait called artistic creativity Noun They discovered that the slave was a fugitive.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The fugitive former leader is wanted by Spain on charges of sedition and embezzlement. Fox News, "Spanish broadcast hijacked to stream Russian TV interview with Catalan separatist leader: reports," 19 Dec. 2019 Le Cost Killer is on the run THE LAST time there was an international fugitive from justice called Carlos lying low in Lebanon was in 1975, when Carlos the Jackal hid in Beirut. The Economist, "Fled to the Med No one comes out of the Carlos Ghosn affair smelling of roses," 2 Jan. 2020 Police arrested a Houston man, 26, for fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, failure to identify as a fugitive and a warrant Dec. 5 in the 2200 block of Business Center Drive. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland police investigate theft of two horses," 19 Dec. 2019 The protests were initially set off by outrage over an extradition bill, since withdrawn, that would have allowed Hong Kong’s leaders to send a fugitive to Taiwan to face murder charges, though the two entities have no extradition treaty. BostonGlobe.com, "“We are fleeing the law,” said one of the protesters, her eyes darting across the food court. “We didn’t have much time to figure out what is happening.”," 8 Dec. 2019 According to jail records, Toler’s criminal history in Baldwin County includes domestic violence and fugitive from justice charges. Levi Edwards | Ledwards@al.com, al, "Summerdale man arrested for possession of obscene photos of minors," 6 Dec. 2019 For years, the FBI, which runs background checks for the state, considered a fugitive to be anyone with an arrest warrant. Allie Morris, ExpressNews.com, "Wanted for a felony assault charge, he could still buy a gun. Will that change?," 27 Sep. 2019 Mann asked the court to say that Rranxburgaj was not a fugitive. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Judge dismisses suit against ICE by immigrant in Detroit church sanctuary," 13 Sep. 2019 Tobias Gray, 44, appeared in a Rhode Island court Monday to face a fugitive from justice charge and a domestic assault charge in East Providence, according to Boston 25 News. Fox News, "Patriots' Antonio Brown signing allegedly leads to mass shooting threat from Giants fan," 10 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Wednesday a newly former national lawmaker was arrested and four more were declared fugitives, wanted on suspicion of graft. Washington Post, "Guatemala: Ex-economy minister sought on graft charges," 17 Jan. 2020 With his parents in prison, Boudin was raised in Chicago by Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, both of whom had been federal fugitives in the 1970s for their anti-war activities. NBC News, "Parents guilty of murder and raised by radicals, Chesa Boudin is San Francisco's next district attorney," 16 Dec. 2019 Clashes are erupting between local and federal officials over the hundreds of joint task forces that operate around the country, finding fugitives, fighting drug dealers or tracking potential terrorists. Simone Weichselbaum, USA TODAY, "Some big cities pulling their police officers out of federal joint task forces," 27 Nov. 2019 But after a juvenile crime task force officer reviewed security video, it was determined the people in the video weren't the fugitives. CBS News, "4 teens, including 2 accused of murder, on the run after escaping Nashville jail," 1 Dec. 2019 Holbrooke despised the fugitives but had grimly made up his mind to meet them. The Economist, "The art of the shadow deal Presidents have sometimes favoured back channels in foreign policy," 21 Nov. 2019 Protests in Hong Kong have been dominating video clips and newsfeeds since June 9, when the Hong Kong government proposed a bill that would allow China to extradite fugitives to the mainland. David Swanson, National Geographic, "Traveling to Hong Kong? Here’s what you need to know.," 25 Oct. 2019 Protests began in response to a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed fugitives to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. Time, "Hong Kong Government Thinks Disneyland Could Help Ease the City’s Housing Crisis," 7 Jan. 2020 The pair co-sponsored bills that would have required the federal government to investigate the disappearances and to impose sanctions against any Saudi diplomat or official found to have assisted Saudi fugitives. oregonlive, "With stroke of Trump’s pen, the FBI has 30 days to declassify Saudi fugitive intel," 21 Dec. 2019

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fugitive

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

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Time Traveler for fugitive

Time Traveler

The first known use of fugitive was in the 14th century

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Statistics for fugitive

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fugitive.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fugitive. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fugitive

fugitive

adjective
How to pronounce fugitive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fugitive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: running away to avoid being captured
literary : lasting a very short time

fugitive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fugitive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is running away to avoid being captured especially : a person who is trying to escape being arrested by the police

fugitive

adjective
fu·​gi·​tive | \ ˈfyü-jə-tiv How to pronounce fugitive (audio) \

Kids Definition of fugitive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: running away or trying to escape a fugitive prisoner

fugitive

noun

Kids Definition of fugitive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is running away

fugitive

adjective
fu·​gi·​tive | \ ˈfyü-jət-iv How to pronounce fugitive (audio) \

Medical Definition of fugitive

: tending to be inconstant or transient fugitive aches and pains— Berton Roueche

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fugitive

noun
fu·​gi·​tive | \ ˈfyü-jə-tiv \

Legal Definition of fugitive

: a person who flees especially : a person who flees one jurisdiction (as a state) for another in order to elude law enforcement personnel

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Comments on fugitive

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