a way or means of escaping: [countable]We used the tunnel as an escape.[uncountable]The back door is your only means of escape.
a way or means of avoiding reality:[countable]liked to read mystery stories as an escape.
adj.[before a noun]
for or providing an escape:an escape hatch.
Computingbeing a key on a microcomputer keyboard, often used to return to a previous program screen:Hit the escape key.
escape, elude, evade mean to keep free of something. To escape is to succeed in keeping away from danger, from being chased or observed, etc.:to escape punishment. To elude is to slip through an apparently tight net, thus avoiding, often by a narrow margin, whatever threatens; it implies using skill or cleverness to baffle or fool:The fox eluded the hounds by his clever twists and turns. To evade is to turn aside from or go out of reach of a person or thing, usually by using a trick to direct attention elsewhere:to evade the police.
Vulgar Latin *excappāre, verb, verbal derivative (with ex-ex-1) of Late Latin cappa hooded cloak (see cap1)
Old North French escaper (French échapper)
Middle English escapen,ascapen 1250–1300
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged flee, abscond, decamp.
7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dodge, flee, avoid. Escape,elude,evade mean to keep free of something. To escape is to succeed in keeping away from danger, pursuit, observation, etc.:to escape punishment.To elude implies baffling pursuers or slipping through an apparently tight net:The fox eluded the hounds.To evade is to turn aside from or go out of reach of a person or thing:to evade the police.See also avoid.