escape

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun the action of allowing toxic substances to leave a container
  • noun a cultivated plant that now reproduces in the wild
  • noun a domesticated animal that has become wild
  • verb to move out of a container
  • verb to move from a domestic or cultivated area and live or grow wild

Aviation

  • noun the act of getting away from or out of a place after being held

Banking

  • noun an act of getting away from a difficult situation

Construction

  • The curved portion of a column shaft where it springs out from the base.

Law

  • noun an act of getting away from a place of detention
  • verb to get away from a place of detention
  • verb to avoid something that is unpleasant

Origin & History of “escape”

Originally, escape meant literally ‘take off one’s cloak’, and signified metaphorically ‘throw off restraint’ – much as we might say unbutton. The word appears to come ultimately from vulgar Latin *excappāre, a hypothetical compound verb formed from the prefix ex- ‘out, off’ and cappa ‘cloak’ (source of English cape). this passed into Old Northern French as escaper (immediate source of the English word), by which time the metaphor had progressed from ‘throwing off restraint’ to ‘gaining one’s liberty’.
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