verb (used without object), escaped, escaping.
to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty: to escape from jail. flee, abscond, decamp.
to slip away from pursuit or peril; avoid capture, punishment, or any threatened evil.
to issue from a confining enclosure, as a fluid.
to slip away; fade: The words escaped from memory.
Botany. (of an originally cultivated plant) to grow wild.
(of a rocket, molecule, etc.) to achieve escape velocity.
verb (used with object), escaped, escaping.
to slip away from or elude (pursuers, captors, etc.): He escaped the police. dodge, flee, avoid.
to succeed in avoiding (any threatened or possible danger or evil): She escaped capture.
to elude (one's memory, notice, search, etc.).
to fail to be noticed or recollected by (a person): Her reply escapes me.
(of a sound or utterance) to slip from or be expressed by (a person, one's lips, etc.) inadvertently.
an act or instance of escaping. flight.
the fact of having escaped.
a means of escaping: We used the tunnel as an escape.
avoidance of reality: She reads mystery stories as an escape.
leakage, as of water or gas, from a pipe or storage container.
Botany. a plant that originated in cultivated stock and is now growing wild.
Physics, Rocketry. the act of achieving escape velocity.
(usually initial capital letter) Computers. Escape key.
for or providing an escape: an escape route.

1250–1300; Middle English escapen, ascapen < Old North French escaper (French échapper) < Vulgar Latin *excappāre, verbal derivative (with ex- ex-1) of Late Latin cappa hooded cloak (see cap1)

escapable, adjective
escapeless, adjective
escaper, noun
escapingly, adverb
preescape, noun, verb (used without object), preescaped, preescaping.
self-escape, noun
unescapable, adjective
unescapably, adverb
unescaped, adjective

7. Escape, elude, evade mean to keep free of something. To escape is to succeed in keeping away from danger, pursuit, observation, etc.: to escape punishment. To elude implies baffling pursuers or slipping through an apparently tight net: The fox eluded the hounds. To evade is to turn aside from or go out of reach of a person or thing: to evade the police. See also avoid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To escape
World English Dictionary
escape (ɪˈskeɪp)
vb (usually foll by from)
1.  to get away or break free from (confinements, captors, etc): the lion escaped from the zoo
2.  to manage to avoid (imminent danger, punishment, evil, etc): to escape death
3.  (of gases, liquids, etc) to issue gradually, as from a crack or fissure; seep; leak: water was escaping from the dam
4.  (tr) to elude; be forgotten by: the actual figure escapes me
5.  (tr) to be articulated inadvertently or involuntarily: a roar escaped his lips
6.  (intr) (of cultivated plants) to grow wild
7.  the act of escaping or state of having escaped
8.  avoidance of injury, harm, etc: a narrow escape
9.  a.  a means or way of escape
 b.  (as modifier): an escape route
10.  a means of distraction or relief, esp from reality or boredom: angling provides an escape for many city dwellers
11.  a gradual outflow; leakage; seepage
12.  escape valve, Also called: escape cock a valve that releases air, steam, etc, above a certain pressure; relief valve or safety valve
13.  a plant that was originally cultivated but is now growing wild
[C14: from Old Northern French escaper, from Vulgar Latin excappāre (unattested) to escape (literally: to remove one's cloak, hence free oneself), from ex-1 + Late Latin cappa cloak]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.N.Fr. escaper, from O.Fr. eschaper, from V.L. *excappare, lit. "get out of one's cape, leave a pursuer with just one's cape," from L. ex- "out of" + L.L. cappa "mantle." Related: Escaped; escaping. Escapee first attested 1875. Escape clause in the legal sense first recorded 1945.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

escape es·cape (ĭ-skāp')

  1. A gradual effusion from an enclosure; a leakage.

  2. A cardiological situation in which one pacemaker defaults or an atrioventricular conduction fails, and another pacemaker sets the heart's pace for one or more beats.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Computing Dictionary

ESCAPE definition

An early system on the IBM 650.
[Listed in CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959)].

escape definition

(ESC) ASCII character 27.
When sent by the user, escape is often used to abort execution or data entry. When sent by the computer it often starts an escape sequence.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with escape, also see narrow escape.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Almost simultaneously, two speed boats were observed breaking off to escape.
But it also means that college doesn't provide the usual escape from the
  realities of the job market.
Even a wholly technocratic government can never fully escape politics.
The vessel remained intact, but some radiation did escape from the plant into
  the surrounding environment.
Idioms & Phrases
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