From Old English flēon, from Proto-Germanic *fleuhaną, from Proto-Indo-European *plewk-, *plew- (“to fly, flow, run”).
Cognate with Dutch vlieden, German fliehen, Icelandic flýja, Swedish fly, Gothic 𐌸𐌻𐌹𐌿𐌷𐌰𐌽 (þliuhan). Within English, related to fly and more distantly to flow.
flee (third-person singular simple present flees, present participle fleeing, simple past and past participle fled)
- (intransitive) To run away; to escape.
- The prisoner tried to flee, but was caught by the guards.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Proverbs 28:1:
- The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bolde as a lyon.
- 1922, Michael Arlen, “Ep./4/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
- As they turned into Hertford Street they startled a robin from the poet's head on a barren fountain, and he fled away with a cameo note.
- (transitive) To escape from.
- Many people fled the country as war loomed.
- Thousands of people moved northward trying to flee the drought.
- 1962 October, “Talking of Trains: Passed to you, Mr. Macmillan”, in Modern Railways, page 220:
- The Government, having lit the fuse, is not going to be allowed to flee the explosion.
- (intransitive) To disappear quickly; to vanish.
- Ethereal products flee once freely exposed to air.
to run away; to escape
to escape from
to disappear quickly
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- Alternative form of fle
From Middle English flye, from Old English flȳġe, flēoge, from Proto-Germanic *fleugǭ. Compare English fly, Dutch vlieg, German Fliege.