[ fyoo-ji-tiv ]
/ ˈfyu dʒɪ tɪv /


a person who is fleeing, from prosecution, intolerable circumstances, etc.; a runaway: a fugitive from justice; a fugitive from a dictatorial regime.


having taken flight, or run away: a fugitive slave.
fleeting; transitory; elusive: fugitive thoughts that could not be formulated.
Fine Arts. changing color as a result of exposure to light and chemical substances present in the atmosphere, in other pigments, or in the medium.
dealing with subjects of passing interest, as writings; ephemeral: fugitive essays.
wandering, roving, or vagabond: a fugitive carnival.

Origin of fugitive

1350–1400; < Latin fugitīvus fleeing, equivalent to fugit(us) (past participle of fugere to flee) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English fugitif < Old French


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for fugitive

British Dictionary definitions for fugitive

/ (ˈfjuːdʒɪtɪv) /


a person who flees
a thing that is elusive or fleeting


fleeing, esp from arrest or pursuit
not permanent; fleeting; transient
moving or roving about

Derived forms of fugitive

fugitively, adverbfugitiveness, noun

Word Origin for fugitive

C14: from Latin fugitīvus fleeing away, from fugere to take flight, run away
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