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  1. es·cape
  2. verb

    • 1. break free from confinement or control:

      two burglars have just escaped from prison
      Synonym : get away, get out, run away, run off, break out, break free, get free, break loose, make a break for it, bolt, clear out, flee, fly, take flight, make off, take off, decamp, abscond, take to one's heels, make a/one's escape, make good one's escape, make a/one's getaway, beat a (hasty) retreat, show a clean pair of heels, run for it, make a run for it, disappear, vanish, slip away, steal away, sneak away, get out of someone's clutches, bust, do a bunk, do a moonlight flit, cut and run, skedaddle, skip, head for the hills, do a disappearing/vanishing act, fly the coop, take French leave, vamoose, hightail it, do a runner, hook it, scarper, leg it, take a powder, go on the lam
    • 2. elude or get free from (someone):

      he drove along I-84 to escape the police
      Synonym : get away from, escape from, elude, avoid, dodge, leave behind, shake off, fend off, keep at arm's length, keep out of someone's way, steer clear of, give someone a wide berth, give someone the slip, bilk
    • 3. succeed in avoiding or eluding something dangerous, unpleasant, or undesirable:

      the driver escaped with a broken knee a baby boy narrowly escaped death
      Synonym : avoid, evade, dodge, elude, miss, cheat, trick, sidestep, circumvent, skirt, keep out of the way of, bypass, shun, steer clear of, shirk, duck
    • 4. (of a gas, liquid, or heat) leak from a container:

      the CFCs have escaped into the atmosphere
      Synonym : leak (out), spill (out), seep (out), ooze (out), exude, discharge, emanate, issue, flow (out), pour (out), gush (out), drip, drain, bleed, stream, spurt, spout, squirt, spew, jet
    • 5. (of words or sounds) issue involuntarily or inadvertently from (someone or their lips):

      a sob escaped her lips
    • 6. fail to be noticed or remembered by (someone):

      the name escaped him it may have escaped your notice, but this is not a hotel
    • 7. interrupt (an operation) by means of the escape key.

    • 8. cause (a subsequent character or characters) to be interpreted differently.


    • 1. an act of breaking free from confinement or control:

      the story of his escape from a POW camp he could think of no way of escape, short of rudeness
      Synonym : getaway, breakout, bolt for freedom, running away, flight, bolting, absconding, decamping, fleeing, flit, disappearance, vanishing act, springing
    • 2. an act of successfully avoiding something dangerous, unpleasant, or unwelcome:

      the baby was fine, but it was a lucky escape
      Synonym : avoidance of, evasion of, dodging of, eluding of, circumvention of, ducking of, elusion of
    • 3. a means of escaping from somewhere:

      he had planned his escape route
    • 4. a form of temporary distraction from reality or routine:

      romantic novels should present an escape from the dreary realities of life
    • 5. a leakage of gas, liquid, or heat from a container.

    • 6. a garden plant or pet animal that has gone wild and (especially in plants) become naturalized.

    • 7. a key on a computer keyboard that either interrupts the current operation or causes subsequent characters to be interpreted differently.

  3. Variation

    • v.: verb: escape, 3rd person present: escapes, gerund or present participle: escaping, past tense: escaped, past participle: escaped

    • verb

      break free from confinement or control:

      elude or get free from (someone):

    • noun

      an act of breaking free from confinement or control:

      an act of avoiding something dangerous or unpleasant:

    • adjective

      having broken free from confinement or control:
    • adjective

      having broken free from confinement or control:
    • noun

      a clause in a contract that specifies the conditions under which one party can be freed from an obligation.
    • noun

      a staircase or other apparatus used for escaping from a building on fire.
    • noun

      a toothed wheel in the escapement of a watch or clock.
    • noun

      a situation in which an accident or other unfortunate incident is barely avoided:
    • noun

      a mental process such as daydreaming that enables a person to avoid acknowledging unpleasant or threatening aspects of reality:
    • noun

      the lowest velocity which a body must have in order to escape the gravitational attraction of a particular planet or other object.
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