escape




To escape is to break free, to get out of a situation you don’t want to be in. It’s also a noun, as in an escape from a dull party that might involve a ladder and an upstairs window.

It’s hard to pin down the word escape. An escape can be the act of escaping, like an escape from prison, but an escape can also be a calming retreat, like a vacation that gets you away from the stress of everyday life. As a verb, escape also means, “to fail to experience or know.” If the humor escapes you, you don’t find the joke funny.

Definitions of escape
  1. verb

    run away from confinement

    “The convicted murderer
    escaped from a high security prison”
    synonyms:
    break loose, get away
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    types:

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    break, break away, break out

    move away or escape suddenly
    escape from, shake, shake off, throw off

    get rid of
    bilk, elude, evade

    escape, either physically or mentally
    slip

    move smoothly and easily
    run away

    escape from the control of
    get away

    remove oneself from a familiar environment, usually for pleasure or diversion
    type of:

    flee, fly, take flight

    run away quickly

  2. verb

    flee; take to one’s heels; cut and run

    “The burglars
    escaped before the police showed up”
    synonyms:
    break away, bunk, fly the coop, head for the hills, hightail it, lam, run, run away, scarper, scat, take to the woods, turn tail
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    types:

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    flee, fly, take flight

    run away quickly
    skedaddle

    run away, as if in a panic
    break

    make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one’s own by quitting or fleeing
    stampede

    run away in a stampede
    abscond, absquatulate, bolt, decamp, go off, make off, run off

    run away; usually includes taking something or somebody along
    elope, run off

    run away secretly with one’s beloved
    break loose, get away

    run away from confinement
    high-tail

    retreat at full speed
    defect, desert

    desert (a cause, a country or an army), often in order to join the opposing cause, country, or army
    type of:

    go away, go forth, leave

    go away from a place

  3. verb

    remove oneself from a familiar environment, usually for pleasure or diversion

    “We
    escaped to our summer house for a few days”
    synonyms:
    get away
    see moresee less

    type of:

    break loose, get away

    run away from confinement

  4. noun

    the act of escaping physically

    “he made his
    escape from the mental hospital”
    “the canary
    escaped from its cage”
    synonyms:
    flight
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    examples:

    Hegira

    the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 which marked the beginning of the Muslim era; the Muslim calendar begins in that year
    Underground Railroad

    secret aid to escaping slaves that was provided by abolitionists in the years before the American Civil War
    types:

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    evasion

    the act of physically escaping from something (an opponent or a pursuer or an unpleasant situation) by some adroit maneuver
    break, breakout, gaolbreak, jailbreak, prison-breaking, prisonbreak

    an escape from jail
    getaway, lam

    a rapid escape (as by criminals)
    exodus, hegira, hejira

    a journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment
    skedaddle

    a hasty flight
    eluding, elusion, slip

    the act of avoiding capture (especially by cunning)
    evasive action, maneuver, manoeuvre

    an action aimed at evading an opponent
    dodge

    a quick evasive movement
    type of:

    running away

    the act of leaving (without permission) the place you are expected to be

  5. noun

    a means or way of escaping

    “hard work was his
    escape from worry”
    “they installed a second hatch as an
    escape
    “their
    escape route”
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    type of:

    agency, means, way

    how a result is obtained or an end is achieved

  6. noun

    an inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion or fantasy

    “romantic novels were her
    escape from the stress of daily life”
    synonyms:
    escapism
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    type of:

    diversion, recreation

    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates

  7. verb

    fail to experience

    synonyms:
    miss
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    type of:

    avoid

    stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something

  8. verb

    escape potentially unpleasant consequences; get away with a forbidden action

    synonyms:
    get away, get by, get off, get out
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    types:

    evade

    use cunning or deceit to escape or avoid
    type of:

    avoid

    stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something

  9. noun

    an avoidance of danger or difficulty

    “that was a narrow
    escape
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    type of:

    avoidance, dodging, shunning, turning away

    deliberately avoiding; keeping away from or preventing from happening

  10. noun

    nonperformance of something distasteful (as by deceit or trickery) that you are supposed to do

    “that
    escape from the consequences is possible but unattractive”
    synonyms:
    dodging, evasion
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    types:

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    escape mechanism

    a form of behavior that evades unpleasant realities
    malingering, skulking

    evading duty or work by pretending to be incapacitated
    goldbricking, goofing off, shirking, slacking, soldiering

    the evasion of work or duty
    circumvention

    the act of evading by going around
    type of:

    carelessness, neglect, negligence, nonperformance

    failure to act with the prudence that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances

  11. verb

    issue or leak, as from a small opening

    “Gas
    escaped into the bedroom”

  12. noun

    the discharge of a fluid from some container

    “they tried to stop the
    escape of gas from the damaged pipe”
    synonyms:
    leak, leakage, outflow
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    type of:

    discharge, outpouring, run

    the pouring forth of a fluid

  13. noun

    a valve in a container in which pressure can build up (as a steam boiler); it opens automatically when the pressure reaches a dangerous level

    synonyms:
    escape cock, escape valve, relief valve, safety valve
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    type of:

    regulator

    any of various controls or devices for regulating or controlling fluid flow, pressure, temperature, etc.
    valve

    control consisting of a mechanical device for controlling the flow of a fluid

  14. noun

    a plant originally cultivated but now growing wild

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    type of:

    flora, plant, plant life

    (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion

  15. verb

    be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by

    synonyms:
    elude
    see moresee less

    types:

    defy, refuse, resist

    elude, especially in a baffling way
    beggar

    be beyond the resources of
    type of:

    amaze, baffle, beat, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, get, gravel, mystify, nonplus, perplex, pose, puzzle, stick, stupefy, vex

    be a mystery or bewildering to

Word Family