To take refuge is to find a safe place. You might take refuge under a bridge in a hail storm, or in a basement during a tornado.

Refuge comes from a French word meaning "to flee," and, in most cases, a refuge is a place to flee to in order to get away from people or places that are unsafe. A refuge is a safe place, such as a building or even another country, as in "they sought refuge from the war by leaving their homeland," or it is a simple, personal place of comfort — like a friend's couch.

Definitions of refuge

n something or someone turned to for assistance or security

“took refuge in lying”
recourse, resort
refuge from danger or observation
Type of:
a source of aid or support that may be drawn upon when needed

n a safe place

harborage, harbourage
(nautical) a place of refuge (as for a ship)
Type of:
area, country
a particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography)

n a shelter from danger or hardship

asylum, sanctuary
harbor, harbour
a place of refuge and comfort and security
a refuge from attack
safe house
a house used as a hiding place or refuge by members of certain organizations
Type of:
a structure that provides privacy and protection from danger

n act of turning to for assistance

recourse, resort
Type of:
aid, assist, assistance, help
the activity of contributing to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose

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