\ ˈflē How to pronounce flee (audio) \
fled\ ˈfled How to pronounce flee (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 The speed at which the Taliban took control of the country caused panic among citizens, who rushed the airport in the capital city of Kabul in an attempt to flee. Malak Silmi, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Sep. 2021 Kedem, her father and brother were able to flee the park without injury, but at least one bystander was struck by an errant bullet that day, police said. oregonlive, 22 Sep. 2021 Others grumbled that the United States didn’t have sufficient plans in place when the moment came, leading to scenes of chaos as foreigners and vulnerable Afghans rushed to flee a Taliban takeover. BostonGlobe.com, 21 Sep. 2021 The extreme hardship of the summer’s events compelled many Haitians to flee the country, and last week thousands began gathering under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas waiting to gain entry to the United States. Deepa Fernandes, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Sep. 2021 Staffers huddled in locked offices were unsure whether to flee and where. Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2021 Violent street gangs have seized neighborhoods and key roads, torching homes and spreading a plague of rapes, kidnappings and killings that have caused thousands of residents to flee. Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2021 But a much larger number of Afghans found their own ways out before the Taliban takeover, and more are expected to flee in the months ahead. Elaine Ganley, ajc, 19 Sep. 2021 Manning seemed to relish dissecting the league’s most feared defense, and the defeats tasted particularly bitter for Baltimore fans who’d watched the Colts flee the city 20 years earlier. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, 18 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for flee

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for flee

Last Updated

27 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flee. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on flee

Nglish: Translation of flee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flee for Arabic Speakers


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