verb (used without object), fled [fled], /flɛd/, flee·ing.
verb (used with object), fled, flee·ing.
BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!
Origin of flee
OTHER WORDS FROM fleeoutflee, verb (used with object), out·fled, out·flee·ing.un·flee·ing, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH fleeflea, flee
Words nearby flee
What does flee mean?
To flee is to run away or escape from a dangerous or otherwise negative situation.
Much less commonly, flee can be used to mean to move at a fast pace. The past tense of flee is fled.
Example: He was forced to flee his home as a result of the impending battle.
Where does flee come from?
The first records of flee come from before the 900s. It comes from the Old English flēon. The related Old English word fleogan means “to fly” (and is the basis for fly).
Humans can’t fly, of course, but flee implies the quickness and urgency with which a bird flies away. In fact, one of the meanings of the verb fly is “to flee or escape,” and a common synonym of flee is take flight. When we talk about the fight-or-flight reaction, the flight part doesn’t refer to actual flying—it means fleeing. Flee means “to run away,” and fleeing often involves literally running, but people can flee in all kinds of ways, including using vehicles. The best way to flee is whatever gets you out of a bad situation the fastest.
Flee typically implies that the bad situation is a very dangerous one. Refugees are usually fleeing from war, violence, or famine. Sometimes, however, people flee when they shouldn’t. Drivers who have hit someone or have caused an accident and have driven away are often said to have fled the scene.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to flee?
- fled (past tense verb)
- outflee (verb)
- fleer (noun)
- unfleeing (adjective)
What are some synonyms for flee?
What are some words that share a root or word element with flee?
What are some words that often get used in discussing flee?
What are some words flee may be commonly confused with?
How is flee used in real life?
Flee is often used in reference to situations that are very dangerous—those in which people are fleeing for their lives.
They run into burning buildings as we flee them. They approach where bullets are fired as we frantically escape the danger. They mobilize for natural disasters as we shudder in fear of our lives. First Responders — a rare & cherished subset of our species.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 9, 2018
Some call parents w/kids in caravan, “reckless”. Many of my Cuban friends were sent here alone as kids -to live w/strangers in a foreign land. Castro wouldn’t let adults flee. Others brought kids in rafts. Many died on journey. Loving desperate parents will do desperate things.
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) November 27, 2018
Detectives are investigating after six people were wounded by gunfire, one fatally, at 3rd and Pine. The suspect(s) fled the scene. If you have information about this incident, please call our tip line at (206) 233-5000
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) January 23, 2020
Try using flee!
Is flee used correctly in the following sentence?
The suspects chose to flee the scene instead of staying and assisting the victim of the accident.
Example sentences 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|DAILY BEAST
As a cafe in Sydney, Australia came under siege by a hostage-taking gunman on Monday, those nearby attempted to flee the area.
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|Justin Jones|December 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Within two years, fighting was so bad, she was forced to flee.Death Metal Angola: Heavy Metal in War-Torn Africa|Nina Strochlic|November 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In October, demonstrators—some violent—forced the longtime president to flee the country, leaving it under military rule.
Linkin ses "they are like to Paddy's flee, when you git where they are they ain't ther."
And then, you have always been all powerful, and never had to give over your plans and flee.The Voodoo Gold Trail|Walter Walden
When we are persecuted in one city Scripture advises us to flee to another.The Fugitives|R.M. Ballantyne
But there was one of all that gang who did not flee, and that was the valiant hound.Frontier Boys in Frisco|Wyn Roosevelt
Though of brave spirit, they feared, and could but flee before, the anger of the law.The Fifth of November|Charles S. Bentley