take to (one's) heels

(redirected from someone takes to their heels)

take to (one's) heels

To flee or run away. The youths took to their heels when they heard the police officers approaching.
See also: heel, take, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take to one's heels

Fig. to run away. The little boy said hello and then took to his heels. The man took to his heels to try to get to the bus stop before the bus left.
See also: heel, take, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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, to
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.

take to your heels

LITERARY
If you take to your heels, you run away. He took to his heels and rushed out of the room.
See also: heel, take, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

take to your heels (or legs)

run away.
See also: heel, take, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌtake to your ˈheels

run away very quickly: The burglars took to their heels when they heard the police arrive.
See also: heel, take, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take to (one's) heels

To run away; flee.
See also: heel, take, to
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.

take to one's heels, to

To flee. Clearly this term does not refer to running on one’s heels, which would not make for a particularly rapid escape. Rather, the heels are all one sees of a person who turns tail (see also turn tail). Thus Shakespeare wrote: “Darest thou . . . play the coward . . . and show it a fair pair of heels and run from it?” (Henry IV, Part 1, 2.4). John Ray recorded “show them a fair pair of heels” in his 1678 proverb collection, but in the nineteenth century it became a clean pair of heels (with Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others). The current cliché dates from the nineteenth century as well. Henry Thomas Riley (1816–78) used it in his translation of Terence’s play Eunuchus: “I took to my heels as fast as I could.”
See also: take, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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