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[fled] /flɛd/
simple past tense and past participle of flee.


[flee] /fli/
verb (used without object), fled, fleeing.
to run away, as from danger or pursuers; take flight.
to move swiftly; fly; speed.
verb (used with object), fled, fleeing.
to run away from (a place, person, etc.).
Origin of flee
before 900; Middle English fleen, Old English flēon; cognate with Old High German flichan (German fliehen), Gothic thliuhan; compare Old English fleogan to fly1
Related forms
outflee, verb (used with object), outfled, outfleeing.
unfleeing, adjective
Can be confused
flea, flee.
3. evade, escape, avoid, shun, elude. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fled
  • He fled with his captive behind a hastily built barricade where an indignant crowd gathered and trapped the two inside.
  • Much of the sea life that would normally inhabit the area has perished or fled.
  • Many locals fled from the guerrilla fighters, abandoning farms and leaving the area with little farming expertise.
  • Many had been looted, and the doctors and nurses had fled.
  • More than four million have been forced from their homes or have fled the country as refugees.
  • She receives threats regularly, has already fled the country once, and once found the lock to her house forced open.
  • They boarded up houses in which plague appeared and fled to the countryside.
  • But when the creatures were presented with the larger disks, some urchins fled while others moved closer.
  • For many, that turned out to be everything they didn't take with them when they fled.
  • Their slums are filled with desperately poor people who have fled worse poverty in the countryside.
British Dictionary definitions for fled


the past tense and past participle of flee1


verb flees, fleeing, fled
to run away from (a place, danger, etc); fly: to flee the country
(intransitive) to run or move quickly; rush; speed: she fled to the door
Derived Forms
fleer, noun
Word Origin
Old English flēon; related to Old Frisian fliā, Old High German fliohan, Gothic thliuhan


a Scot word for fly1
a Scot word for fly2
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
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Word Origin and History for fled

past tense and past participle of flee (q.v.).



Old English fleon "take flight, fly from, avoid, escape" (contracted class II strong verb; past tense fleah, past participle flogen), from Proto-Germanic *thleukhanan (cf. Old High German fliohan, Old Norse flöja, Old Frisian flia, Dutch vlieden, German fliehen, Gothic þliuhan "to flee"), of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic.

Weak past tense and past participle fled emerged Middle English, under influence of Scandinavian. Old English had a transitive form, geflieman "put to flight," which came in handy in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Related: Fleeing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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