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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: by, 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: by, of, skin, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
In one incident, an inmate escaped by scaling a section of the perimeter where only one row of fence was functioning, the others being down for maintenance.
She escaped a second time a week later and was returned by police several hours later.
It is no coincidence, therefore, that every captivity account published after Hakluyt's account of Fox was not about captives who had escaped, but about captives who had been ransomed through the intervention of the queen and the Privy Council.
Again, Sethe has rewritten her destiny, escaped the role assigned to her and her children, but at what cost?
An inmate who twice escaped maximum security prisons in South Carolina was apprehended by Texas authorities Friday morning, (http://www.
It was supposedly an escape-proof World War Two Prisoner of War camp, but 76 allied airmen escaped on the night of March 24, 1944.
Through an unconstitutional delegation of executive authority, and motivated by illegitimate reasons, he ordered elk that escaped from my ranch to be killed, violating my private property rights.
In 2004, three laundry workers escaped while on duty and were recaptured heading south on Interstate 5.
Top Sinn Fein negotiator Gerry Kelly, who escaped from the Maze Prison in 1983, said the men should feel good about making the attempt.
calls the "Negro exhibit" - public displays of scars and signs of torture that escaped slaves, in silence, presented during their lectures to white Northern audiences.
When they escaped, the fear of encountering the Brileys gripped much of Virginia and North Carolina.
An alleged murderer and arms trafficker escaped from a maximum-security prison in Moscow from a small hole he broke open in the cell's ceiling.
CASTAIC - Investigators continued to search Monday for an inmate who escaped two days earlier from the Pitchess Detention Center while working in the jail's kitchen, authorities said.
Drawing on extensive on-site reports and interviews, the Monitor concludes that sometime between November 28th-3Oth, "the world's most-wanted man escaped the world's most powerful military machine, walking -- with four of his loyalists -- in the direction of Pakistan' Afghan intelligence official Pir Bakash Bardiwal expressed to the paper his astonishment that "the Pentagon planners didn't consider the most obvious exit routes and put down light US infantry to block them.