American English

Definition of escape noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] escape (from something) the act or a method of escaping from a place or an unpleasant or dangerous situation an escape from a prisoner of war camp I had a narrow escape (= I was lucky to have escaped). There was no hope of escape from her disastrous marriage. He took an elaborate escape route from South Africa to Britain. As soon as he turned his back, she would make her escape. see also fire escape
  2. 2[singular, uncountable] a way of forgetting something unpleasant or difficult for a short time For her, travel was an escape from the boredom of her everyday life.
  3. 3[countable] the fact of a liquid, gas, etc. coming out of a pipe or container by accident; the amount that comes out an escape of gas
  4. 4[uncountable] (also escape key [countable]) (computing) a button on a computer keyboard that you press to stop a particular operation or leave a program Press escape to get back to the menu.
  5. Idioms
    close, etc. the barn door after the horse has escaped
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    to try to prevent or avoid loss or damage when it is already too late to do so
    make good your escape (formal)
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    to manage to escape completely He made good his escape from a crowd of journalists by jumping over a barrier.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: escape