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escape

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verb British English pronunciation: escape /ɪˈskeɪp/ 
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyescape
he/she/itescapes
present participleescaping
past tenseescaped
past participleescaped
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to get away from a place where you are in danger

    Three people died in the fire, but John escaped through the bedroom window.

    escape from:

    His family escaped from Germany and arrived in Britain in 1938.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to get away from a very unpleasant situation

      people trying to escape poverty

      escape from:

      She saw university as a way to escape from her oppressive home life.

    2. c.
      [intransitive/transitive] to get away from an embarrassing or annoying situation

      Maggie started talking to me and I thought I'd never escape.

      escape someone's clutches:

      He was trying to escape the clutches of two amorous young girls.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to avoid being killed or seriously injured in an accident or attack

    Two security guards escaped injury in the attack.

    escape with:

    Mr Smith escaped with cuts and bruises.

    escape unhurt/unharmed/unscathed:

    Her two-week-old baby escaped unscathed.

    escape with your life (=avoid being killed):

    He was lucky to escape with his life.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to avoid a difficult or unpleasant situation

      The area has escaped the ravages of war.

      Hughes seems certain to escape punishment.

      narrowly escape:

      Durham narrowly escaped defeat in their first match of the season.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] to avoid thinking about or dealing with an unpleasant situation that you are in
      escape from:

      The cinema allowed people to escape from the depressing realities of their lives.

  3. 3
    [transitive] if something escapes you, you cannot remember it or you do not notice it

    His name escapes me right now.

    It seems to have escaped him that I was the one who first introduced him to her.

    escape your attention/notice:

    It had not escaped my attention that Joseph was absent.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to come out of a container, usually by accident

    How will we know if there's any gas escaping?

    About five tonnes of crude oil had escaped into the sea.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] informal to go away on holiday

    We're hoping to escape to the Algarve in May.

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