[ih-skeyp-muh nt]
See more synonyms for escapement on
  1. Horology. the portion of a watch or clock that measures beats and controls the speed of the going train.Compare anchor escapement, deadbeat(def 1), lever escapement.
  2. a mechanism for regulating the motion of a typewriter carriage, consisting of pawls and a toothed wheel or rack.
  3. a mechanism in a piano that causes a hammer to fall back into rest position immediately after striking a string.
  4. an act of escaping.
  5. Archaic. a way of escape; outlet.

Origin of escapement

1730–40; escape + -ment (calque of French échappement Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for escapement

flight, evasion, getaway, breakout, exodus

Examples from the Web for escapement

Historical Examples of escapement

  • There is no jeweling in the escapement or on the other end of the balance staff.

  • The escapement is in front, so that every tooth is seen as it frees itself.

    Over the Teacups

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • There is an escapement, Fig. 4, which is just the opposite to the English.

  • The shaft is permitted by the escapement to revolve once an hour.

    How it Works

    Archibald Williams

  • When the balance-wheel, impelled by the escapement, rotates, it winds up the spring.

    How it Works

    Archibald Williams

British Dictionary definitions for escapement


  1. horology a mechanism consisting of an escape wheel and anchor, used in timepieces to provide periodic impulses to the pendulum or balance
  2. any similar mechanism that regulates movement, usually consisting of toothed wheels engaged by rocking levers
  3. (in a piano) the mechanism that allows the hammer to clear the string after striking, so that the string can vibrate
  4. an overflow channel
  5. rare an act or means of escaping
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012