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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

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, to

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

Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.

proverb Those who commit small crimes will face the full consequences of the law, but those who commit crimes on a huge scale will go unpunished. So some guy who holds up a liquor store with a gun because his family can't afford food gets 30 years in prison, but a wealthy CEO who robs millions of people of their pensions gets a few months of community service? I tell you, little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.
See also: but, great, little, one, thief

make good (one's) escape

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

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

by the skin of (one's) teeth

By the smallest margin.
See also: by, of, skin, teeth
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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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.
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. Considering that the length of time added to the sentence of a captured escapee averages about five years, these data suggest that prison escape is an impulsive rather than carefully planned act.
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).
Given that the only barrier preventing an individual from escaping from a prerelease program is the rule that he cannot do so, (110) it is difficult to conclude that this type of escape inherently poses the potential for harm.
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).
Perhaps it is damaging to emancipatory movements that individuals' successes in escaping or avoiding harm isolate them, putting some into a safer space.
He gained fame by repeatedly escaping from police handcuffs and jails and after making his name in America, toured Europe, where he escaped from straitjackets and coffins.
Escaping cons were back on top at the box office in the early 1990s.
TWO THINGS ARE STRIKING ABOUT Hollywood s long-term love affair with escaping convicts.
Farndon, of Victoria Road, Maplethorpe, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to escaping from custody.
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.
An escaping positron would give itself away because as it slipped out, it would hit an electron in the wall of the reaction chamber and annihilate itself and the electron, leaving behind gamma rays with a telltale frequency.
Under many conditions, various researchers have concluded, such an impact would partially melt or even vaporize any escaping fragments, yet two of the three kinds of SNCs seem to have been only lightly to moderately shocked by whatever set them free.
But now a group of space scientists has discovered that the trickle of escaping oxygen is much greater--1037 times greater--than the theoretical rate associated with thermal processes alone.