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1 [no object] break free from confinement or control:two burglars have just escaped from prison (as adjective escaped)escaped convicts [with object] elude or get free from (someone):he drove along I-84 to escape the police succeed in avoiding or eluding something dangerous, unpleasant, or undesirable:the driver escaped with a broken knee [with object]:a baby boy narrowly escaped death (of a gas, liquid, or heat) leak from a container. [with object] (of words or sounds) issue involuntarily or inadvertently from (someone or their lips):a sob escaped her lips 2 [with object] fail to be noticed or remembered by (someone):the name escaped him it may have escaped your notice, but this is not a hotel 3 [with object] Computing interrupt (an operation) by means of the escape key. cause (a subsequent character or characters) to be interpreted differently.
an act of breaking free from confinement or control:the story of his escape from a POW camp he could think of no way of escape, short of rudeness an act of successfully avoiding something dangerous, unpleasant, or unwelcome:the couple had a narrow escape from serious injury a means of escaping from somewhere: [as modifier]:he had planned his escape route a form of temporary distraction from reality or routine:romantic novels should present an escape from the dreary realities of life a leakage of gas, liquid, or heat from a container. a garden plant or pet animal that has gone wild and (especially in plants) become naturalized. (also escape key) Computing a key on a computer keyboard that either interrupts the current operation or causes subsequent characters to be interpreted differently.