Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old North French
Origin: escaper, from Vulgar Latin excappare, from Late Latin cappa 'head-covering'; from the idea of throwing off something that limits your movement


1 verb
es‧cape1 S3 W2


[intransitive] to get away from a place or dangerous situation when someone is trying to catch you or stop you:
He broke down the locked door and escaped.
escape from/through/over etc
He escaped from prison in October.
escape to
She escaped to Britain in 1938.


[intransitive and transitive] to get away from a dangerous or bad situation
escape with
He escaped with minor injuries.
escape unhurt/unscathed/unharmed etc
A boy escaped unhurt when the fire in his room exploded.
They went to the hills to escape the summer heat.
escape somebody's clutches (=escape from someone)
The youth was trying to escape the clutches of two drunken female companions.


[intransitive and transitive] to avoid something bad or that you do not want to happen:
He narrowly escaped death in an avalanche.
The two passengers escaped serious injury.
They must not be allowed to escape justice.
It seemed impossible he would escape detection.

gas/liquid etc

[intransitive] if gas, liquid, light, heat etc escapes from somewhere, it comes out:
Vents allow any steam to escape if the system overheats.


[intransitive and transitive] literary if a sound escapes from someone, they accidentally make that sound:
A small laugh escaped her.
escape from
Holman let a weary sigh escape from his lips.

escape somebody's attention/notice

if something escapes your attention or notice, you do not see it or realize that it is there

the name/date/title etc escapes somebody

used to say that someone cannot remember something:
For some reason which escapes me, we had to take a taxi.

there's no escaping (the fact)

used to emphasize that something is definitely important or will definitely happen:
There's no escaping the fact that work has profound effects on emotions and health.

Dictionary results for "escape"
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