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 he was a fugitive of the law.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With her brother Brian Laundrie still missing, his sister Cassie Laundrie has spoken out once again, asking that her fugitive brother turn himself in immediately. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, 5 Oct. 2021 Florida fugitive Brian Laundrie's attorney has refuted a report that his client purchased a cellphone from an AT&T store in his hometown of North Port the day his parents claimed to have last seen him, Fox News has learned. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, 29 Sep. 2021 Carles Puigdemont, the fugitive former leader of Catalonia, was released by an Italian judge on Friday. Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2021 This one is an old-school epic, about a slave who escapes a Brazilian plantation for a fugitive camp, looking to reunite with her husband — but as with any writer’s writer, the story is more of a framework to explore language. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, 22 Sep. 2021 April 12, 2017 - Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, a fugitive cartel member wanted in connection with Terry’s death, is arrested in Mexico. CNN, 22 Sep. 2021 Paulie spends much of their fugitive vacation blathering on about the good old days, offering a different perspective on the Many Saints era, and on the version of Paulie played in the film by Billy Magnussen. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 10 Sep. 2021 If the carbon capture and storage rates aren’t high — and there are significant fugitive emissions — then the criticisms are valid. Robert Rapier, Forbes, 4 Sep. 2021 The wealth of texts and fugitive literature on U.S. race relations provides ample fuel for those who are not reluctant to employ cherry-picking and out-of-context references. Max B. Sawicky, The New Republic, 30 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Marshals Service previously said Ruffo, a fugitive who has been on the most-wanted list for 23 years, might have been seen the baseball game. Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY, 9 Oct. 2021 Laundrie, a fugitive, returned to North Port on Sept. 1 in Petito's van without her after the two embarked on a cross-country road trip over the summer. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 8 Oct. 2021 He is considered a fugitive from justice after the Sept. 23 issuance of an arrest warrant for alleged unauthorized use of a debit card. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, 7 Oct. 2021 In August 2019, Victor Liu, a Georgetown student, told CNN his family was being held in order to pressure their father Liu Changming, a high-profile Chinese fugitive, into returning to Beijing, where he is still wanted for financial crimes. Jennifer Hansler, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 Bulger fled and remained a fugitive for more than 16 years, while Flemmi has been incarcerated since then. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Aug. 2021 One of the most colorful entrepreneurs in history, McAfee was a true software pioneer, a notorious hedonist, a possible murderer, a fugitive, a U.S. presidential candidate and, inevitably, a cryptocurrency promoter. David Meyer, Fortune, 24 June 2021 After a terrible event, midwife María is forced to become a fugitive and, to wrestle back her freedom, flee Galicia for Portugal along an old smugglers’ route. Emilio Mayorga, Variety, 21 Sep. 2021 Senior Austrian intelligence officers have been accused of spying for Russia and Iran, and also of smuggling a high-profile fugitive out of Austria on a private plane. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2021

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fugitive

fugitation

fugitive

fugitive from justice

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Statistics for fugitive

Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for fugitive

fugitive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fugitive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: running away to avoid being captured
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on fugitive

Nglish: Translation of fugitive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fugitive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fugitive

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