from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To break loose from confinement; get free.
  • intransitive verb To issue from confinement or enclosure; leak or seep out.
  • intransitive verb To avoid a serious or unwanted outcome.
  • intransitive verb Biology To become established in the wild. Used of a plant or animal.
  • intransitive verb Computers To interrupt a command, exit a program, or change levels within a program by using a key, combination of keys, or key sequence.
  • intransitive verb To succeed in avoiding.
  • intransitive verb To break loose from; get free of.
  • intransitive verb To be outside the memory or understanding of; fail to be remembered or understood by.
  • intransitive verb To issue involuntarily from.
  • noun The act or an instance of escaping.
  • noun A means of escaping.
  • noun A means of obtaining temporary freedom from worry, care, or unpleasantness.
  • noun A gradual effusion from an enclosure; a leakage.
  • noun Biology A cultivated plant or a domesticated or confined animal that has become established in the wild.
  • noun Computers A key used especially to interrupt a command, exit a program, or change levels within a program.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The outlet or gate in an irrigation or other hydraulic work by which water may be permitted to escape from the canal, either automatically or under direct control.
  • To slip or flee away; succeed in evading or avoiding danger or injury; get away from threatened harm: as, he escaped scot-free.
  • To free or succeed in freeing one's self from custody or restraint; gain or regain liberty.
  • Synonyms To abscond, decamp, steal away, break loose, break away.
  • To succeed in evading, avoiding, or eluding; be unnoticed, uninjured, or unaffected by; evade; elude: as, the fact escaped his attention; to escape danger or a contagious disease; to escape death.
  • noun Flight to shun danger, injury, or restraint; the act of fleeing from danger or custody.
  • noun The condition of being passed by without receiving injury when danger threatens; avoidance of or preservation from some harm or injury: as, escape from contagion, or from bankruptcy.
  • noun In law, the regaining of liberty or transcending the limits of confinement, without due course of law, by a person in custody of the law.
  • noun A means of flight; that by which danger or injury may be avoided, or liberty regained: as, a fire-escape.
  • noun Excuse; subterfuge; evasion.
  • noun That which escapes attention; an oversight; a mistake.
  • noun An escapade; a wild or irregular action.
  • noun In botany, a plant which has escaped from cultivation, and become self-established, more or less permanently, in fields or by roadsides.
  • noun Leakage or loss, as of gas, or of a current of electricity in a telegraph or electric-light circuit by reason of imperfect insulation; also, in electricity, a shunt or derived current.
  • noun In architecture, the curved part of the shaft of a column where it springs out of the base; the apophyge. See cut under column.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To flee from and avoid; to be saved or exempt from; to shun; to obtain security from.
  • transitive verb To avoid the notice of; to pass unobserved by; to evade.
  • noun The act of fleeing from danger, of evading harm, or of avoiding notice; deliverance from injury or any evil; flight; ; also, the means of escape.
  • noun obsolete That which escapes attention or restraint; a mistake; an oversight; also, transgression.
  • noun A sally.
  • noun (Law) The unlawful permission, by a jailer or other custodian, of a prisoner's departure from custody.
  • noun (Bot.) A plant which has escaped from cultivation.
  • noun (Arch.) An apophyge.
  • noun Leakage or outflow, as of steam or a liquid.
  • noun (Elec.) Leakage or loss of currents from the conducting wires, caused by defective insulation.
  • noun (Steam Boilers) a pipe for carrying away steam that escapes through a safety valve.
  • noun (Steam Engine) a relief valve; a safety valve. See under Relief, and Safety.
  • noun (Horol.) the wheel of an escapement.
  • intransitive verb To flee, and become secure from danger; -- often followed by from or out of.
  • intransitive verb To get clear from danger or evil of any form; to be passed without harm.
  • intransitive verb To get free from that which confines or holds; -- used of persons or things

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To get free, to free oneself.
  • verb transitive To avoid (any unpleasant person or thing); to elude, get away from.
  • verb intransitive To avoid capture; to get away with something, avoid punishment.
  • verb transitive To elude the observation or notice of; to not be seen or remembered by.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English escapen, from Old North French escaper, from Vulgar Latin *excappāre, to get out of one's cape, get away : Latin ex-, ex- + Medieval Latin cappa, cloak.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman and Old Northern French escaper ( = Old French eschaper, modern French échapper), from Vulgar Latin *excapare, from Latin ex- ("out") + capio ("capture").


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  • run from a danger

    May 16, 2009

  • escapement



    July 7, 2011

  • Oh, wait--I see what you did there, a. That's cool!

    July 7, 2011