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 ?
Using a NSEW pattern in which layer bias is completely ignored will use the least number of layers for escaping the BGA.
Prior research suggests that among escapees from the more secure prisons, more than 92 percent are captured and returned to prison within a year of escaping (Culp, in press).
Sethe's alliance with Amy Denver, the abused, escaping daughter of an indentured servant, is another example of cross-race connections.
When escaping, close as many doors behind you as you can to prevent fire from spreading.
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.