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

  • intransitive v. To break loose from confinement; get free: escape from jail.
  • intransitive v. To issue from confinement or an enclosure; leak or seep out: Gas was escaping from the vent.
  • intransitive v. To avoid a serious or unwanted outcome: escaped from the accident with their lives.
  • intransitive v. Botany To become established in the wild. Used of a cultivated species.
  • intransitive v. Computer Science To interrupt a command, exit a program, or change levels within a program by using a key, combination of keys, or key sequence.
  • transitive v. To succeed in avoiding: The thief escaped punishment.
  • transitive v. To break loose from; get free of: The spacecraft escaped Earth's gravitational field.
  • transitive v. To elude the memory or comprehension of: Her name escapes me. The book's significance escaped him.
  • transitive v. To issue involuntarily from: A sigh escaped my lips.
  • n. The act or an instance of escaping.
  • n. A means of escaping.
  • n. A means of obtaining temporary freedom from worry, care, or unpleasantness: Television is my escape from worry.
  • n. A gradual effusion from an enclosure; a leakage.
  • n. Botany A plant that has become established away from the area of cultivation.
  • n. Computer Science A key, combination of keys, or key sequence, used especially to interrupt a command, exit a program, or change levels within a program.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To get free, to free oneself.
  • v. To avoid (any unpleasant person or thing); to elude, get away from.
  • v. To avoid capture; to get away with something, avoid punishment.
  • v. To elude the observation or notice of; to not be seen or remembered by.
  • v. To cause (a single character, or all such characters in a string) to be interpreted literally, instead of with any special meaning it would usually have in the same context, often by prefixing with another character.
  • v. To halt a program or command by pressing a key (such as the "Esc" key) or combination of keys.
  • n. The act of leaving a dangerous or unpleasant situation.
  • n. escape key (A key on most modern computer keyboards, sometimes abbreviated Esc, and typically programmed to cancel some current operation.)
  • n. The ASCII character represented by 27 (decimal) or 1B (hexadecimal.)
  • n. A successful shot from a snooker position.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. That which escapes attention or restraint; a mistake; an oversight; also, transgression.
  • n. A sally.
  • n. The unlawful permission, by a jailer or other custodian, of a prisoner's departure from custody.
  • n. A plant which has escaped from cultivation.
  • n. An apophyge.
  • n. Leakage or outflow, as of steam or a liquid.
  • n. Leakage or loss of currents from the conducting wires, caused by defective insulation.
  • intransitive v. To flee, and become secure from danger; -- often followed by from or out of.
  • intransitive v. To get clear from danger or evil of any form; to be passed without harm.
  • intransitive v. To get free from that which confines or holds; -- used of persons or things
  • transitive v. To flee from and avoid; to be saved or exempt from; to shun; to obtain security from.
  • transitive v. To avoid the notice of; to pass unobserved by; to evade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. Flight to shun danger, injury, or restraint; the act of fleeing from danger or custody.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A means of flight; that by which danger or injury may be avoided, or liberty regained: as, a fire-escape.
  • n. Excuse; subterfuge; evasion.
  • n. That which escapes attention; an oversight; a mistake.
  • n. An escapade; a wild or irregular action.
  • n. In botany, a plant which has escaped from cultivation, and become self-established, more or less permanently, in fields or by roadsides.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In architecture, the curved part of the shaft of a column where it springs out of the base; the apophyge. See cut under column.
  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. run away from confinement
  • n. a valve in a container in which pressure can build up (as a steam boiler); it opens automatically when the pressure reaches a dangerous level
  • n. an inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion or fantasy
  • v. be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by
  • v. escape potentially unpleasant consequences; get away with a forbidden action
  • n. the discharge of a fluid from some container
  • v. flee; take to one's heels; cut and run
  • n. the act of escaping physically
  • v. issue or leak, as from a small opening
  • v. remove oneself from a familiar environment, usually for pleasure or diversion
  • v. fail to experience
  • n. nonperformance of something distasteful (as by deceit or trickery) that you are supposed to do
  • n. a means or way of escaping
  • n. a plant originally cultivated but now growing wild
  • n. an avoidance of danger or difficulty


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

    July 7, 2011

  • escapement



    July 7, 2011

  • run from a danger

    May 16, 2009