take to one's heels


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take to one's heels

Run away, as in When the burglar alarm went off they took to their heels. This expression alludes to the fact that the heels are all one sees of a fugitive running away fast. Although similar expressions turned up from Shakespeare's time on, the exact idiom dates only from the first half of the 1800s. Also see show one's heels.
See also: heel, take