flee

verb
\ 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 Lawmakers, who were counting the Electoral College votes, were forced to flee from the floor, and Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber. Nikole Killion, CBS News, 4 Oct. 2021 Thousands have died and more than 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Reuters, CNN, 4 Oct. 2021 In 1777, the Continental Congress — forced to flee in the face of advancing British forces — moved to York, Pennsylvania. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2021 According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, at the end of 2020 more than 82.4 million people — 1 of every 95 persons on the planet — had been forced to flee their homes. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2021 The Fawn Fire has forced thousands of people between Redding and the south shore of Shasta Lake to flee their homes. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Sep. 2021 That’s the total number of Rohingya people who were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state after the country’s military and hardline nationalists cracked down on the Muslim minority group—including alleged mass murder and rapes. Siladitya Ray, Forbes, 23 Sep. 2021 In California, the flames have forced many to flee their homes and have left thousands of firefighters scrambling to battle the blazes. Lawrence Andrea, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 The flames have forced many to flee their homes and have left thousands of firefighters scrambling to battle the blazes. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 13 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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Dictionary Entries Near flee

fledgy

flee

fleece

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Statistics for flee

Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flee. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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.

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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