Meaning of “escape” in the English Dictionary

"escape" in British English

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uk /ɪˈskeɪp/ us /ɪˈskeɪp/

escape verb (GET FREE)

B1 [ I or T ] to get free from something, or to avoid something:

Two prisoners have escaped.
A lion has escaped from its cage.
She was lucky to escape serious injury.
He narrowly (= only just) escaped a fine.
His name escapes me (= I have forgotten his name).
Nothing important escapes her notice/attention.

More examples

  • In order to escape capture, he fled to the mountains.
  • He had to jump out of an upstairs window to escape.
  • Refugees have been pouring into neighbouring countries to escape the civil war.
  • Both children escaped unharmed from the burning building.
  • In the end she left home just to escape the tyrannical rule of her mother.


uk /ɪˈskeɪp/ us /ɪˈskeɪp/

escape noun (GET FREE)

C1 [ C or U ] the act of successfully getting out of a place or a dangerous or bad situation:

He made his escape on the back of a motorcycle.
an escape route
They had a narrow escape (= only just avoided injury or death) when their car crashed.

[ C ] a loss that happens by accident:

an escape of radioactivity

More examples

  • We've got all the exits covered, so they've no chance of escape.
  • It was a daring escape.
  • He told the extraordinary story of his escape.
  • She gave a hair-raising account of her escape through the desert.
  • It sounds as if you had a lucky escape .

(Definition of “escape” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"escape" in American English

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escapeverb [ I/T ]

us /ɪˈskeɪp/

to become free or get free from, or to avoid something:

[ I ] to escape from prison/a burning house
[ T ] The book’s faults have not escaped the notice of (= not been avoided being noticed by) critics.

escapenoun [ C/U ]

us /ɪˈskeɪp/

the act or possibility of becoming free or getting away from a place where you are kept esp. by force, or of avoiding a dangerous situation:

[ C ] The blast knocked me down – it was a narrow escape (= I was almost hurt badly).

An escape is also an unintentional loss:

[ C ] an escape of radioactive fuel

(Definition of “escape” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"escape" in Business English

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escapenoun [ U ]

uk /ɪˈskeɪp/ us often Escape, also escape key, abbreviation Esc IT

the key on a computer keyboard which allows you to leave a particular screen and return to the previous one or to interrupt a process:

Press Escape to return to the main menu.
To exit the program, use Esc.

(Definition of “escape” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)