View synonyms for flee


[ flee ]

verb (used without object)

, fled [fled], flee·ing.
  1. to run away, as from danger or pursuers; take flight.
  2. to move swiftly; fly; speed.

verb (used with object)

, fled, flee·ing.
  1. to run away from (a place, person, etc.).

    Synonyms: elude, shun, avoid, escape, evade



/ fliː /


  1. a Scot word for fly 1


  1. a Scot word for fly 2



/ fliː /


  1. to run away from (a place, danger, etc); fly

    to flee the country

  2. intr to run or move quickly; rush; speed

    she fled to the door

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Derived Forms

  • ˈfleer, noun

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Other Words From

  • outflee verb (used with object) outfled outfleeing
  • un·fleeing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of flee1

First recorded before 900; Middle English fleen, Old English flēon; cognate with Old High German flichan ( German fliehen ), Gothic thliuhan; compare Old English fleogan “to fly”; fly 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of flee1

Old English flēon ; related to Old Frisian fliā , Old High German fliohan , Gothic thliuhan

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Example Sentences

Thousands of Rum families fled Turkey in the aftermath, and the Rum populace that remained — and the city itself — were never the same again.

Others watched on TV and frantically tried to reach our bosses and colleagues as they fled for their lives.

On Saturday, Green opened fire at Baltimore police officers at a grocery store in northern Baltimore before fleeing, Harrison said.

Others watched on TV and frantically tried to reach bosses and colleagues as they fled for their lives.

In reality, the frantic effort is clearly meant to compensate for voters fleeing the party.

Many more illegal migrants face labor trafficking in Europe as they flee the conflict regions of North Africa and the Middle East.

The risk to his life was great enough that he had to flee Munich when Hitler attempted to seize power in November 1923.

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.

Within two years, fighting was so bad, she was forced to flee.

The remaining guerrilla had no stomach to continue the fight, and wheeled his horse to flee.

As they look him in his face and his shadowy wings cover them, nature recoils and would flee from him.

Where sabre, lance, and bayonet, right soon would turn and flee!

And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the leaders of the flock to save themselves.

Finally, they became so frightened at this unusual type of fighting that they broke ranks and tried to flee.


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More About 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.

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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.



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.