—v.i. 1. to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty: to escape from jail. 2. to slip away from pursuit or peril; avoid capture, punishment, or any threatened evil.
3. to issue from a confining enclosure, as a fluid.
4. to slip away; fade: The words escaped from memory. 5. Bot.(of an originally cultivated plant) to grow wild.
6. (of a rocket, molecule, etc.) to achieve escape velocity.
—v.t. 1. to slip away from or elude (pursuers, captors, etc.): He escaped the police. 2. to succeed in avoiding (any threatened or possible danger or evil): She escaped capture. 3. to elude (one's memory, notice, search, etc.).
4. to fail to be noticed or recollected by (a person): Her reply escapes me. 5. (of a sound or utterance) to slip from or be expressed by (a person, one's lips, etc.) inadvertently.
—n. 1. an act or instance of escaping.
2. the fact of having escaped.
3. a means of escaping: We used the tunnel as an escape. 4. avoidance of reality: She reads mystery stories as an escape. 5. leakage, as of water or gas, from a pipe or storage container.
6. Bot.a plant that originated in cultivated stock and is now growing wild.
7. Physics,Rocketry.the act of achieving escape velocity.
8. Computers.a key (frequently labeled ESC) found on microcomputer keyboards and used for any of various functions, as to interrupt a command or move from one part of a program to another.
—adj. for or providing an escape: an escape route.