- to run away from (a place, person, etc.).
Origin of flee
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for flee
Many more illegal migrants face labor trafficking in Europe as they flee the conflict regions of North Africa and the Middle East.ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism
Louise I. Shelley
December 26, 2014
As a cafe in Sydney, Australia came under siege by a hostage-taking gunman on Monday, those nearby attempted to flee the area.In Defense of Uber’s Awful Sydney Surge Pricing
December 16, 2014
But, in Jamaica, Maurice Tomlinson was forced to flee his country after his marriage to his Canadian husband made front-page news.A Quorum For Change: The Fight For Global LGBT Equality
December 11, 2014
Within two years, fighting was so bad, she was forced to flee.Death Metal Angola: Heavy Metal in War-Torn Africa
November 21, 2014
In October, demonstrators—some violent—forced the longtime president to flee the country, leaving it under military rule.An African Dictatorship’s Friend in D.C.
Center for Public Integrity
November 20, 2014
Already the inward monitor was whispering to her, "Arise, flee for your life!"Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
In this house the cook must have been in the kitchen, just ready to go to work when he had to flee.Buried Cities: Pompeii, Olympia, Mycenae
To flee away swiftly had been well within his right, had been almost a duty.Casanova's Homecoming
Finally a revolt broke out, and the emperor was obliged to flee.The Chinese Fairy Book
It's my basket they'll be wantin', no me; and i' this drift, basket may flee but it winna float!'Heather and Snow
- to run away from (a place, danger, etc); flyto flee the country
- (intr) to run or move quickly; rush; speedshe fled to the door
- a Scot word for fly 1
- a Scot word for fly 2
Word Origin and History for flee
Old English fleon "take flight, fly from, avoid, escape" (contracted class II strong verb; past tense fleah, past participle flogen), from Proto-Germanic *thleukhanan (cf. Old High German fliohan, Old Norse flöja, Old Frisian flia, Dutch vlieden, German fliehen, Gothic þliuhan "to flee"), of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic.
Weak past tense and past participle fled emerged Middle English, under influence of Scandinavian. Old English had a transitive form, geflieman "put to flight," which came in handy in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Related: Fleeing.