escape

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escape fire

1. A fire created in an area of vegetation so as to create a path clear of fuel to avoid an oncoming wildfire. A lighter might seem like the last thing you'd need in the middle of a grasslands wildfire, but it saved my life when I used it to start an escape fire.
2. By extension, any nonstandard, counterintuitive, and/or improvised solution to a problem that is too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional means. The country's welfare debt was so insurmountable that the government began looking at radical escape fires to manage the situation.
See also: escape, fire

escape the bear and fall to the lion

To avoid a frightening or problematic situation, only to end up in a worse one later. A: "After I swerved to avoid hitting a pedestrian, I wound up in oncoming traffic, and my car was totaled." B: "That's awful. You escaped the bear and fell to the lion."
See also: and, bear, escape, fall, lion

narrow escape

A situation in which danger or problems are barely avoided. That guy barely made it over the tracks before the train came. What a narrow escape!
See also: escape, narrow

avenue of escape

A way or path out of something. That beetle doesn't seem to know that his only avenue of escape is the open window. The fire was in the kitchen, so our only avenue of escape was through the front door.
See also: avenue, escape, of

escape (one's) notice

To avoid being seen. I doubt you will escape people's notice if you show up at the party in a floor-length sequined gown.
See also: escape, notice

it escapes (one)

One can't quite remember something at the moment. I'm trying to remember why I came in here, but it escapes me.
See also: escape

make good (one's) escape

To successfully escape from some place. The armed robber made good his escape through a secret back door in the building that was unknown to police.
See also: escape, good, make

avenue of escape

Fig. the pathway or route along which someone or something escapes. The open window was the bird's only avenue of escape from the house. Bill saw that his one avenue of escape was through the back door.
See also: avenue, escape, of

by the skin of one's teeth

Fig. just barely. (By an amount equal to the thickness of the (imaginary) skin on one's teeth.) I got through calculus class by the skin of my teeth. I got to the airport a few minutes late and missed the plane by the skin of my teeth. Lloyd escaped from the burning building by the skin of his teeth.
See also: of, skin, teeth

escape (from someone or something) (to some place)

to get away from someone, something, or some place to another place. Max escaped from prison to a hideout in Alabama. He escaped to Alabama from one of the worst-run prisons in the land.

escape someone's notice

Fig. to go unnoticed; not to have been noticed. (Usually a way to point out that someone has failed to see or respond to something.) I suppose my earlier request escaped your notice, so I'm writing again. I'm sorry. Your letter escaped my notice.
See also: escape, notice

Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.

Prov. Truly expert criminals are never caught. Everyone's making such a fuss because they convicted that bank robber, but he must not have been a very dangerous criminal. Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.
See also: but, escape, great, little, one, thief

escape notice

Elude attention or observation, as in It must have escaped the editor's notice so I'll write again. [c. 1700]
See also: escape, notice

narrow escape

A barely successful flight from or avoidance of danger or trouble, as in He had a narrow escape, since the bullet came within inches of his head. This expression uses narrow in the sense of "barely sufficient." [Late 1500s] For a newer synonym, see close call.
See also: escape, narrow

escape somebody’s ˈnotice

not be noticed by somebody: It may have escaped your notice but I’m very busy right now. Can we talk later?
See also: escape, notice

make ˌgood your eˈscape

(written) manage to escape completely: In the confusion at the border, the woman made good her escape.He made good his escape from a crowd of journalists by jumping over a fence.
See also: escape, good, make

a narrow eˈscape/ˈsqueak

a situation where somebody only just avoids injury, danger or failure: We had a narrow escape on the way here. The wind blew a tree down just in front of us. We could have been killed.
See also: escape, narrow, squeak

by the skin of (one's) teeth

By the smallest margin.
See also: of, skin, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
But Adoiphus Wickham's bid for freedom was short-lived as three officers chased and caught him just yards from the building, but not before this van had to skid to a halt to avoid the escaper and his pursuers.
Magee's best man was Maze escaper Jimmy Smith, who was extradited from America 12 months ago and who married US citizen Julie Fishman in a similar ceremony inside the Maze earlier this year.
GUNTHER Pluschow - Airman, Escaper and Explorer by Anton is available from Pen & Sword at pounds 19.
1989: First elected to the Dail as a TD for Donegal North East 1991: Charlie Haughey nominates him to the post of Defence Minister but he is forced to hand back portfolio on day of his appointment after he is pictured at the extradition hearing of Maze Prison escaper James Pius Clarke.
He acquired the reputation as the most determined escaper the Germans had ever encountered.
GREAT escaper Slobodan Milosevic may have got away again.
A MAZE escaper has been arrested at a border patrol in the US, officials said last night.
Introduced in the 1970s and bred on farms for the restaurant trade, a handful of escapers have now grown to an aquatic army numbering millions that has infiltrated river systems.
It was a service with full military honours: a fitting farewell for the greatest of the great escapers.
In retaliation, the spokesman informed that one of the escapers received bullet wounds and fallen down from the bike and the other escaped from the spot.
The newcomers had also found the remains of two graves, marked by simple wooden crosses, presumably the men Moore and the other escapers had buried.
The bibliography is fairly comprehensive, although I missed citation of Oliver Clutton-Brock, RAF Evaders: The Comprehensive Story of Thousands of Escapers and Their Escape Lines, Western Europe, 1940-1945.
In a shop as black as a minister's soul, a bloke led us up the silent escalators like escapers through a tunnel in the TV series Colditz; the dark forms of fellow shoppers were barely visible in the inky gloom - and the odd muffled swear word would ring out from the darkness as somebody bumped their heed or stubbed their toe.