Break away vs escape

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Senior Member
Is there a difference between break away and escape
1) The lion broke away/escaped from its cage
2) He grabbed her, bus she managed to break away.

Thank you in advance.
  • baldpate

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    1) The lion broke away :cross: /escaped:tick: from its cage
    2) He grabbed her, but she managed to break away.:tick:
    In the sense you intend, "break away" means to escape from the restraint of another person - usually when the restraining person has a physical hold of the escapee (as in your example #2).
    It can also be used figuratively, meaning to free oneself from a non-physical contraint (e.g. "It was only in his thirties that he broke away from the influence of his domineering father")


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "Break away" isn't really an idiom. It means to "break" someone's hold on you, then move "away". It does not mean "escape". You might choose to move away only a few feet. And the "hold" that your "broke" could be tempoerary, not an imprisonment.

    In anger Thomas grabbed her, but she broke away and glared at him.

    There needs to be some kind of hold on you (literal or figurative) that you "break", or the expression "break away" is not used. But it is used figuratively a lot:

    I am visiting your city for two days. I will come visit you, if I can break away from my meetings.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Escape typically means either breaking out of some kind of confinement or breaking free from some kind of control or restraint.
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