Definition of evacuate in English:



  • 1Remove (someone) from a place of danger to a safer place.

    ‘several families were evacuated from their homes’
    • ‘That diminished greatly after last year's storm, when several hundred thousand people were evacuated.’
    • ‘I had to send my children home on the correct date but both myself and my wife had to stay until arrangements could be made to medically evacuate me back to England.’
    • ‘Local police evacuated the sandy tourist beaches of Mombasa and elsewhere, and by the time the wave struck the shore was empty.’
    • ‘Thousands of people were evacuated in the Carolinas and power was also cut in about 200,000 homes.’
    • ‘None of us were evacuated and none of us were told what was happening, none of us were even told that there was a toxic fire. None of us have been told if there's a clean-up happening.’
    • ‘He was evacuated by the Red Cross, and is now catching up on his schooling and playing wheelchair basketball with other young men who have lost limbs in the war.’
    • ‘Thousands of people were evacuated from the airport and at least 200 flights delayed.’
    • ‘Firefighters dealt with the blaze while police evacuated families from nearby homes.’
    • ‘Police evacuated the residents of the 14 flats at St John's Gardens, Lake Road, at around 11.20 pm on Tuesday.’
    • ‘Thousands of people were evacuated yesterday after a giant glass dome building at a holiday complex was destroyed by fire.’
    • ‘Thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes during the search.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, in the town of Leeds, police erect barricades and evacuate residents in a search for more clues.’
    • ‘Cuba battened down for what could be the most powerful hurricane to hit the island in living memory and tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes.’
    • ‘The United Airlines domestic terminal was closed down and thousands of passengers were evacuated from the main airport building on to the street while the authorities searched for the man.’
    • ‘It was the International Rescue team who evacuated her.’
    • ‘Thousands of people were evacuated, and police snipers placed on the rooftops.’
    • ‘Twenty thousand people were evacuated from Birmingham last night as fears of terrorism continued to ripple through Britain following the London bombings.’
    • ‘When there was no word of us being evacuated, we thought that maybe the hurricane was going to miss us.’
    • ‘Emile was one of the lucky ones - he was evacuated by the UN after pretending that he was not from around those parts, and was taken to Kenya and then England to seek asylum.’
    • ‘The digger operator called the Ministry of Defence Police, who evacuated people from the surrounding docks and buildings.’
    remove, clear, move out, shift, take away, turn out, expel, evict
    clear, ask people to leave, force people to leave, make people leave, make people get out, empty, depopulate
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    1. 1.1Leave or cause the occupants to leave (a place of danger)
      ‘fire alarms forced staff to evacuate the building’
      [no object] ‘nearly five million had to evacuate because of air terror’
      • ‘The entire building in Old Ford End Road was evacuated.’
      • ‘And I can say that right now I don't think that there is any reason to go for evacuating any settlement right now unless we are beginning to move in some direction that will lead to a political process.’
      • ‘‘He should have evacuated the place earlier,’ said a firefighter.’
      • ‘Elevators are not permitted for use by occupants when evacuating a building in a fire, regardless of the number tors are designed to building to be recalled to a building's main lobby for use personnel.’
      • ‘The local officials understood the danger and made an informed decision to evacuate the city.’
      • ‘An estimated almost 2 million people left the Houston area under orders to evacuate their city and the surrounding suburbs.’
      • ‘Under proposed amendments to the Civil Contingencies Bill, the police will be able to evacuate danger areas should a ‘catastrophic incident’ occur.’
      • ‘More than a million people are evacuating coastal areas in Florida tonight, as Charlie barrels towards the United States.’
      • ‘‘This would be a respiratory hazard and could lead to large areas being evacuated, depending on the wind and the weather,’ he said.’
      • ‘Nearby farms were evacuated, but no one was injured.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the agency has acted to reassure Goole residents that the defences are not in immediate danger of collapse, and there is no need to evacuate the town at the next high tide.’
      • ‘Originally I was going to just take it down to the police station, but they told me it was a good thing I didn't as they would have had to evacuate the place.’
      • ‘The road was closed because of the smoke causing poor visibility and the caravan site was evacuated.’
      • ‘The warnings were passed on, the financial district was evacuated, and the bomb went off on schedule.’
      • ‘Authorities are urging about 9,000 people living nearby to evacuate that danger zone.’
      • ‘I recognize the enormous challenge of evacuating the city.’
      • ‘So they evacuated this area, kept a close on high on it.’
      • ‘Smoke management systems may also be employed, especially where occupants are unable to evacuate the zone of fire origin, as may happen in a detention facility.’
      • ‘Nearby houses in Casement Place were also evacuated during the alert, which lasted an hour and a half.’
      • ‘No radiation escaped the plant and there was no need to evacuate the area around the city of Mihama, about 200 miles west of Tokyo.’
      leave, vacate, abandon, desert, move out of, get out of, exit from, quit, withdraw from, go away from, be gone from, retreat from, retire from, decamp from, disappear from, take oneself off from, flee, depart from, escape from, pull out of
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    2. 1.2(of troops) withdraw from (a place)
      ‘the last British troops evacuated the Canal Zone’
      • ‘Thus by the end of 30 May, while 120,000 troops had been evacuated, only 6,000 of these were French.’
      • ‘On 26 May, it was decided to evacuate as many troops from Dunkirk so operations were directed to support the beleaguered BEF forces around the town.’
      • ‘He served in France and Belgium and was evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk in 1940.’
      • ‘It appears to have been less the enabling fixtures of religion that inspired those suicide attacks than their efficiency at killing, (and thus evacuating an occupying force).’
      • ‘The troops had to be evacuated, with two Allied destroyers, one British and one French’
      • ‘The 45th Infantry evacuated the immediate area and moved a short distance south.’
      • ‘By early 1943 it was clear that the Japanese had failed, and they abandoned attempts to retake Henderson Field, evacuating the few troops they had left on the island.’
      • ‘Dr Norman related how the navy nurses were left behind when the Philippines were evacuated.’
  • 2technical Remove air, water, or other contents from (a container)

    ‘when it springs a leak, evacuate the pond’
    • ‘With four oil-pan pickups, the pan can be evacuated very efficiently.’
    • ‘In some pools, there are no fish or other aquatic animals at all because fishermen have even evacuated all the water with pumps in order to catch the fish.’
    • ‘This is a chamber that can be evacuated and purged with inert gas until all active gases are removed.’
    • ‘Some low-consumption toilets typically don't evacuate the bowl as was typical of old-technology models.’
    • ‘The bags were evacuated, sealed, and cold isostatically pressed at 200 MPa.’
    1. 2.1Empty (the bowels or another bodily organ)
      ‘patients evacuated their bowels before dialysis’
      • ‘The nurse evacuates the patient's urinary bladder via the Crede's maneuver (ie, massaging the bladder by pressing down on the anterior, superior surface of the abdomen).’
      • ‘Views are obtained with the patient at rest, squeezing to defer a bowel movement, and straining to evacuate the rectum.’
      • ‘Stomachs were evacuated using gastric lavage methods within 1 h of capture.’
      • ‘But I'm clean and sober, and the only ting that swept through me was an uncontrollable urge to evacuate my bowels upon hearing that pap.’
      • ‘If someone looks like a man and has a man's build, that person may just have to evacuate his/her bladder and bowels in the men's room.’
      • ‘Did he spontaneously evacuate his bowels like an excited puppy at the prospect of a lucrative alliance.’
      • ‘Terrified and claustrophobic she vomited and evacuated her bowel and bladder.’
      • ‘All animals, including humans, have to evacuate their bowels.’
      • ‘Things are bigger in Texas: A larger than average bird decided to evacuate its bowels above me today, deep in the heart of Texas.’
      • ‘Because Daio induces diarrhea, it was increased gradually till the patients evacuated their bowels two or three times a day.’
      • ‘If you are asking if anyone here has ever had to evacuate their bladder during a journey, then I would say yes, I have.’
      • ‘Nothing too wrong with that you may say, but he insists on stopping outside my house to allow his dog to evacuate its bowels.’
      expel, eject, discharge, excrete, pass, eliminate, void, drain
      void, open, move, purge, drain
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    2. 2.2Discharge (faeces or other matter) from the body.
      ‘the bowel functions to evacuate solid waste products’
      • ‘The surgeon removes the triangular retractor and reverses the pneumoperitoneum, evacuating as much carbon dioxide as possible.’
      • ‘He or she then evacuates air from the ascending aorta by infusing cardioplegia through the vent and allowing the cardioplegia to exit through the aorta.’
      • ‘When a Gastrografin enema is unsuccessful, laparotomy is indicated to evacuate the obstructing meconium by enterotomy irrigation.’
      • ‘Approximately 2.5 L of clotted blood was evacuated from the hematoma.’
      • ‘Mucus plugs may be evacuated after withdrawal of the examination finger.’
      • ‘The surgeon uses electrosurgery, if needed, to stop bleeding and then evacuates tissue pieces from the bladder.’
      • ‘At 12 months, the body's natural metabolism evacuates the copolymer from the surrounding tissue by forming carbon dioxide and water, and by 15 months, the copolymer is completely eliminated.’
      • ‘A bleeder from the temporal vein was ligated, clot and blood were evacuated, and the neck was redrained.’
      • ‘Molar contents and the placenta were then evacuated from the uterus and submitted to pathology.’
      • ‘Black pepper and lemon can help the body evacuate extra fat without even slightly harming the skin or tissue.’
      • ‘These chemicals are not necessarily evacuated from the body with food waste but accumulate in fatty tissue, where they can ultimately be responsible for degenerative diseases.’
      • ‘The water you evacuate seems to be synchronized with that entering your mouth.’
      • ‘The cyst was inadvertently opened during resection, and a clear, straw-colored fluid was evacuated.’
      expel, eject, discharge, excrete, pass, eliminate, void, drain
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    3. 2.3figurative Deprive (something) of contents, value, or force.
      ‘he evacuated time and history of significance’
      • ‘The picturesque evacuates any type of reality from the visual held by glossing over lived experience.’
      • ‘The literary cultivation of consciousness is a fictional strategy that evacuates most of the world for very little in return.’
      • ‘Using language alone or in confined ways is to evacuate significant facets of politics.’
      • ‘Such a notion of representation evacuates it of any real significance.’
      • ‘The pebble has evacuated itself of the personal desires which can dangerously distract us.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘clear the contents of’): from Latin evacuat- (of the bowels) emptied, from the verb evacuare, from e- (variant of ex-) out of + vacuus empty.