To escape is to break free, to get out of a situation you don’t want to be in. It’s also a noun, as in an escape from a dull party that might involve a ladder and an upstairs window.

It’s hard to pin down the word escape. An escape can be the act of escaping, like an escape from prison, but an escape can also be a calming retreat, like a vacation that gets you away from the stress of everyday life. As a verb, escape also means, "to fail to experience or know.” If the humor escapes you, you don't find the joke funny.

Definitions of escape
  1. verb
    run away from confinement
    “The convicted murderer escaped from a high security prison”
    synonyms: break loose, get away
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    break, break away, break out
    move away or escape suddenly
    escape from, shake, shake off, throw off
    get rid of
    bilk, elude, evade
    escape, either physically or mentally
    move smoothly and easily
    run away
    escape from the control of
    get away
    remove oneself from a familiar environment, usually for pleasure or diversion
    type of:
    flee, fly, take flight
    run away quickly
  2. verb
    flee; take to one's heels; cut and run
    “The burglars escaped before the police showed up”
    synonyms: break away, bunk, fly the coop, head for the hills, hightail it, lam, run, run away, scarper, scat, take to the woods, turn tail
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    flee, fly, take flight
    run away quickly
    run away, as if in a panic
    make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing
    run away in a stampede
    abscond, absquatulate, bolt, decamp, go off, make off, run off
    run away; usually includes taking something or somebody along
    elope, run off
    run away secretly with one's beloved
    break loose, get away
    run away from confinement
    retreat at full speed
    defect, desert
    desert (a cause, a country or an army), often in order to join the opposing cause, country, or army
    type of:
    go away, go forth, leave
    go away from a place
  3. verb
    remove oneself from a familiar environment, usually for pleasure or diversion
    “We escaped to our summer house for a few days”
    synonyms: get away
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    type of:
    break loose, get away
    run away from confinement
  4. noun
    the act of escaping physically
    “he made his escape from the mental hospital”
    “the canary escaped from its cage”
    synonyms: flight
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    the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 which marked the beginning of the Muslim era; the Muslim calendar begins in that year
    Underground Railroad
    secret aid to escaping slaves that was provided by abolitionists in the years before the American Civil War
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    the act of physically escaping from something (an opponent or a pursuer or an unpleasant situation) by some adroit maneuver
    break, breakout, gaolbreak, jailbreak, prison-breaking, prisonbreak
    an escape from jail
    getaway, lam
    a rapid escape (as by criminals)
    exodus, hegira, hejira
    a journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment
    a hasty flight
    eluding, elusion, slip
    the act of avoiding capture (especially by cunning)
    evasive action, maneuver, manoeuvre
    an action aimed at evading an opponent
    a quick evasive movement
    type of:
    running away
    the act of leaving (without permission) the place you are expected to be
  5. noun
    a means or way of escaping
    “hard work was his escape from worry”
    “they installed a second hatch as an escape
    “their escape route”
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    type of:
    agency, means, way
    how a result is obtained or an end is achieved
  6. noun
    an inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion or fantasy
    “romantic novels were her escape from the stress of daily life”
    synonyms: escapism
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    type of:
    diversion, recreation
    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
  7. verb
    fail to experience
    synonyms: miss
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    type of:
    stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something
  8. verb
    escape potentially unpleasant consequences; get away with a forbidden action
    synonyms: get away, get by, get off, get out
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    use cunning or deceit to escape or avoid
    type of:
    stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something
  9. noun
    an avoidance of danger or difficulty
    “that was a narrow escape
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    type of:
    avoidance, dodging, shunning, turning away
    the act of deliberately avoiding; keeping away from or preventing from happening
  10. noun
    nonperformance of something distasteful (as by deceit or trickery) that you are supposed to do
    “that escape from the consequences is possible but unattractive”
    synonyms: dodging, evasion
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    escape mechanism
    a form of behavior that evades unpleasant realities
    malingering, skulking
    evading duty or work by pretending to be incapacitated
    goldbricking, goofing off, shirking, slacking, soldiering
    the evasion of work or duty
    the act of evading by going around
    type of:
    carelessness, neglect, negligence, nonperformance
    failure to act with the prudence that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances
  11. verb
    issue or leak, as from a small opening
    “Gas escaped into the bedroom”
  12. noun
    the discharge of a fluid from some container
    “they tried to stop the escape of gas from the damaged pipe”
    synonyms: leak, leakage, outflow
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    type of:
    discharge, outpouring, run
    the pouring forth of a fluid
  13. noun
    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
    synonyms: escape cock, escape valve, relief valve, safety valve
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    type of:
    any of various controls or devices for regulating or controlling fluid flow, pressure, temperature, etc.
    control consisting of a mechanical device for controlling the flow of a fluid
  14. noun
    a plant originally cultivated but now growing wild
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    type of:
    flora, plant, plant life
    (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion
  15. verb
    be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by
    synonyms: elude
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    defy, refuse, resist
    elude, especially in a baffling way
    be beyond the resources of
    type of:
    amaze, baffle, beat, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, get, gravel, mystify, nonplus, perplex, pose, puzzle, stick, stupefy, vex
    be a mystery or bewildering to
Word Family

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