Definition of fugitive in US English:



  • 1A person who has escaped from a place or is in hiding, especially to avoid arrest or persecution.

    ‘fugitives from justice’
    as modifier ‘fugitive criminals’
    • ‘On the morning of February 11, a fugitive wanted online throughout the country was arrested.’
    • ‘He fled bail to become a fugitive from justice.’
    • ‘Information gathered by the police indicates that all of the fugitives have scattered.’
    • ‘On the morning of February 10, a wanted fugitive surrendered himself to police.’
    • ‘And, as if that wasn't bad enough, the fugitives had been separated.’
    • ‘An escape from slavery is an expansion of experience and cultural consciousness, one that fugitive slave narratives record repeatedly.’
    • ‘We extradite fugitives that come to America from other countries.’
    • ‘We get two to three thousand calls every week, and we've caught 723 dangerous fugitives in 31 countries.’
    • ‘A wanted fugitive of the American highways has been holding up traffic in Steeton.’
    • ‘Now in his 16th season, "America's Most Wanted " has helped capture 735 fugitives.’
    • ‘Still, he was about to apprehend a fugitive who'd eluded the police for eleven years.’
    • ‘I would rather die first, or become a fugitive from justice!’
    • ‘Now that she has become a fugitive from justice, the townspeople see an opportunity to exploit her.’
    • ‘The federal government also pursued the matter of fugitive slaves escaping overland to territories held by foreign powers.’
    • ‘Of course, helping a fugitive escape the police wasn't on the agenda either.’
    • ‘Readers may be shocked to learn that I am currently harbouring a political fugitive.’
    • ‘The officers watched in amazement as their daring fugitive escaped.’
    • ‘And he is one of the six most wanted fugitives by the FBI.’
    • ‘They emerged from 1960s radical chic to become America's most wanted fugitives.’
    • ‘Right now he is a fugitive on the run, if he is alive.’
    escapee, escaper, runaway, deserter, refugee, renegade, absconder
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    1. 1.1as modifier Quick to disappear; fleeting.
      ‘he entertained a fugitive idea that Barbara needed him’
      • ‘She found few internal records and had to piece together most of the story from a variety of fugitive sources.’
      • ‘A fugitive smile played around Rick's face as he ushered Edie in through the surprisingly large doors.’
      • ‘One of the most potentially fugitive art forms, they age, perish and demand constant care.’
      • ‘I find the concept to which they refer somewhat fugitive.’
      • ‘She was a Romantic ballerina of fugitive lightness, with a delicacy as much like steel as late.’
      • ‘For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject.’
      • ‘In a second, and more fugitive image, the action opens with modern citizens struggling to be heard in the public arena.’
      • ‘The successful materialization of these fugitive images is a challenge.’
      • ‘Although golf courses aren't the leading cause of fugitive dust, they still are considered a contributor.’
      • ‘It has the great and salutary benefit of constantly reminding us how hard won is fugitive information about even quite senior office-holders.’
      • ‘Targets were established in a variety of ways, and it often reminded me of fugitive work here in the states.’
      • ‘It is another fugitive inscription on the page of earth that it is necessary to seize, that you want to understand.’
      • ‘We take a lot of measures to stop fugitive dust blow.’
      • ‘The evidence for medieval agricultural magic is very fugitive, but there is no reason to think it was not pervasive.’
      • ‘I see the quality of those blue green works of mine as being very fugitive.’
      fleeting, transient, transitory, ephemeral, evanescent, flitting, flying, fading, momentary, short-lived, short, brief, passing, impermanent, fly-by-night, here today and gone tomorrow
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Late Middle English: from Old French fugitif, -ive, from Latin fugitivus, from fugere ‘flee’.