View synonyms for escape


[ ih-skeyp ]

verb (used without object)

, es·caped, es·cap·ing.
  1. to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty:

    to escape from jail.

    Synonyms: decamp, abscond, flee

  2. to slip away from pursuit or peril; avoid capture, punishment, or any threatened evil.
  3. to issue from a confining enclosure, as a fluid.
  4. to slip away; fade:

    The words escaped from memory.

  5. Botany. (of an originally cultivated plant) to grow wild.
  6. (of a rocket, molecule, etc.) to achieve escape velocity.

verb (used with object)

, es·caped, es·cap·ing.
  1. to slip away from or elude (pursuers, captors, etc.):

    He escaped the police.

    Synonyms: avoid, flee, dodge

  2. to succeed in avoiding (any threatened or possible danger or evil):

    She escaped capture.

  3. to elude (one's memory, notice, search, etc.).
  4. to fail to be noticed or recollected by (a person):

    Her reply escapes me.

  5. (of a sound or utterance) to slip from or be expressed by (a person, one's lips, etc.) inadvertently.


  1. an act or instance of escaping.

    Synonyms: flight

  2. the fact of having escaped.
  3. a means of escaping:

    We used the tunnel as an escape.

  4. avoidance of reality:

    She reads mystery stories as an escape.

  5. leakage, as of water or gas, from a pipe or storage container.
  6. Botany. a plant that originated in cultivated stock and is now growing wild.
  7. Physics, Rocketry. the act of achieving escape velocity.
  8. (usually initial capital letter) Computers. Escape key.


  1. for or providing an escape:

    an escape route.


/ ɪˈskeɪp /


  1. to get away or break free from (confinements, captors, etc)

    the lion escaped from the zoo

  2. to manage to avoid (imminent danger, punishment, evil, etc)

    to escape death

  3. intrusually foll byfrom (of gases, liquids, etc) to issue gradually, as from a crack or fissure; seep; leak

    water was escaping from the dam

  4. tr to elude; be forgotten by

    the actual figure escapes me

  5. tr to be articulated inadvertently or involuntarily

    a roar escaped his lips

  6. intr (of cultivated plants) to grow wild


  1. the act of escaping or state of having escaped
  2. avoidance of injury, harm, etc

    a narrow escape

    1. a means or way of escape
    2. ( as modifier )

      an escape route

  3. a means of distraction or relief, esp from reality or boredom

    angling provides an escape for many city dwellers

  4. a gradual outflow; leakage; seepage
  5. Also calledescape valveescape cock a valve that releases air, steam, etc, above a certain pressure; relief valve or safety valve
  6. a plant that was originally cultivated but is now growing wild

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Derived Forms

  • esˈcaper, noun
  • esˈcapable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • es·capa·ble adjective
  • es·capeless adjective
  • es·caper noun
  • es·caping·ly adverb
  • prees·cape noun verb (used without object) preescaped preescaping
  • self-es·cape noun
  • unes·capa·ble adjective
  • unes·capa·bly adverb
  • unes·caped adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of escape1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English escapen, ascapen, from Old North French escaper, from French échapper or directly from unattested Vulgar Latin excappāre, verbal derivative (with ex- “out of, from”) of Late Latin cappa “hooded cloak”; ex- 1, cap 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of escape1

C14: from Old Northern French escaper, from Vulgar Latin excappāre (unattested) to escape (literally: to remove one's cloak, hence free oneself), from ex- 1+ Late Latin cappa cloak

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Idioms and Phrases

In addition to the idiom beginning with escape , also see narrow escape .

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Synonym Study

Escape, elude, evade mean to keep free of something. To escape is to succeed in keeping away from danger, pursuit, observation, etc.: to escape punishment. To elude implies baffling pursuers or slipping through an apparently tight net: The fox eluded the hounds. To evade is to turn aside from or go out of reach of a person or thing: to evade the police. avoid.

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Example Sentences

On that planet, there are orbiters imaging the landscape, measuring atmospheric escape and chemistry, and surveying the weather.

This is the core of Recon Campers—a camper that can be as versatile as your daily driver and off-grid weekend escape pod.

To make your escape, remove your 550 laces and tie them together to make a single, long cord.

They have escape routes from their main tunnels and escape routes from their escape routes.

As she struggles to hold her marriage together or spend enough time with her kids, the show is keenly aware of how this is a double standard, one that she can’t escape no matter how hard she tries.

From Vox

After the captain made the call to abandon ship, 150 people were able to escape on lifeboats lowered by electronic arms.

The irony did not escape one local, Laith Hathim, as he stood and watched the newly minted refugees make their way into Mosul.

His harrowing escape from Vienna when Hitler took Austria in March 1938 is dramatically chronicled in his memoirs.

This final episode of Extras is the perfect Christmastime escape for those who prefer the bittersweet to the saccharine.

Cubans are cursed whether they find a means of escape or remain.

"Capital, capital," his lordship would remark with great alacrity, when there was no other way of escape.

Thinking to escape and summon assistance from the cantonment, Douglas mounted the wall and leaped into the moat.

After the wretch had stabbed her in three places, he went to make his escape out at a window; but she cried out, My dear!

Ripperda's attention was next directed to put his plan of escape, in train for execution.

But one battalion was isolated on a spur, from which there seemed no way of escape save under a scorching flank fire.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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