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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 totalled." B: "That's awful. You escaped the bear and fell to the lion.
See also: and, bear, escape, fall, lion

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

it escapes me

1. I do not notice something If there was something important in that package, it certainly escaped me.
2. I do not remember something I knew his name a minute ago, but now it escapes me.
See also: escape

a narrow escape

a situation in which you were lucky because you just managed to avoid danger or trouble He only just got out of the vehicle before the whole thing blew up. It was a narrow escape.
See also: escape, narrow

by the skin of your teeth

if you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just succeed in doing it We escaped by the skin of our teeth. England held on by the skin of their teeth to win 1-0.
See also: of, skin, teeth

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

by the skin of (one's) teeth

By the smallest margin.
See also: of, skin, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
Granted, this may increase the number of layers required to escape the BGA; however, as long as the total number of layers is reasonable in terms of cost and reliability, escaping in the direction of the netline is a good method.
Each design is a unique challenge and determining the most effective method for escaping the BGA depends on design rules, signal and power integrity concerns and the pin pitch of the BGA.
Conversely, inmates with only a short time left to serve might be considered at low risk of escaping.
Although 56 percent had less than four years to serve at the time of their escape, only 30 percent of escapees were serving a sentence of four years or less, suggesting that many inmates had already worked off a substantial portion of their sentence prior to escaping.
TWO THINGS ARE STRIKING ABOUT Hollywood s long-term love affair with escaping convicts.
From Muni to Cagney to Cage, American audiences have been tickled to see a slew of escaping white men cast as heroic Houdinis.
Those escaping measure their movement not only by triangulation (taking sightings off distant markers) but also by dead reckoning (marking the distance they have traveled).
Brown emphasizes survival by renaming the protagonists, a decision that shifts centrality from the tragic to the successful passer: The brave heroine who prefers death to bondage is renamed Isabella, and the new Clotelle who succeeds in escaping to France is Isabella's daughter.
In exchange for his plea, an earlier attempted carjacking conviction would not be counted as a strike on his record and he will not be charged with escaping the Newhall courthouse last March.
Wards tend to try escaping from the camps near developed areas because there is easier access to transportation and phones, Anhalt said.
Pugh was discovered walking just outside the complex wearing clothes investigators believe he stole from one of the condominiums about three hours after escaping, deputies said.
His acts included escaping from an airtight tank filled with water and leaping from an airplane in flight into Lake Michigan while handcuffed.
Terrance Edward Nikrasch, 59, was charged this week with one count of passing counterfeit money and one of resisting arrest, and faces a charge of escaping from a federal prison following a 1991 conviction.
Shearer said escaping through the new jail's shower skylight would have been difficult.
Rex Wayne Dobbins, a 51-year-old aerospace worker, entered his plea to a count of aiding a prisoner in escaping.