- a hasty escape; flight.
- to run away quickly; escape; flee: I'm going to lam out of here as soon as I've finished.
- on the lam, escaping, fleeing, or hiding, especially from the police: He's been on the lam ever since he escaped from jail.
- take it on the lam, to flee or escape in great haste: The swindler took it on the lam and was never seen again.
Origin of lam2
- (tr) to thrash or beat
- (intr; usually foll by into or out) to make a sweeping stroke or blow
- a sudden flight or escape, esp to avoid arrest
- on the lam
- making an escape
- in hiding
- (intr) to escape or flee
Word Origin and History for on the lam
"flight," as in on the lam, 1897, from a U.S. slang verb meaning "to run off" (1886), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow from the first element of lambaste, which was used in British student slang for "beat" since 1590s; if so, it would give the word the same etymological sense as the slang expression beat it.
Idioms and Phrases with on the lam
on the lam
Running away, especially from the police, as in He's always in some kind of trouble and perpetually on the lam. The origin of this slangy term of the 1800s is not known.
see on the lam.