What is the difference between run away, get away, break away, and go away?

About get away and run away, somethings were explained here, but what about other phrases?

I searched and found it as a polemical topic. It would be creditable that on one page we discuss them as a reference. We have other words like make off, abscond, flee, leave, escape from, etc., as others put forward them as examples, so far.

  • 1
    Most of those have multiple meanings depending on context. Can you narrow down what you want to know and perhaps quote some dictionary definitions so people do not repeat your researches?
    – mdewey
    Nov 1 '20 at 16:12
  • 3
    run away = flee - usually, but not always escaping. But if you get away you definitely did escape. Breaking away is more often used figuratively to mean parting company with some larger group (leaving a political party, for example) - often with the implication that one will continue to do similar things - just not within that larger group. Going away is far more general, covering everything from an exasperated imperative Oh, go away! to I'm going away on holiday tomorrow. Nov 1 '20 at 16:15

Run away - Expectation is that you physically turn around and run with your legs away from X. You should be scared.

  • Sometimes used to mean escape if the person/thing escaping didn't have a specific destination in mind.

  • The noun runaway can mean a child who left his family without them immediately knowing but also can mean other situations like a prisoner who has escaped, etc.

Get away - Expectation is that you separate yourself from X or increase your distance. There might be a safety or privacy concerned. Usually this is a strong, direct request but not necessarily mean.

  • Also, if something is hunted and escapes, it can be said to have got away.
  • The noun getaway typically means vacation the phrase get away can sometimes mean "to take a vacation."

Break away - This is used when the context is one or more people (or things) separating from a group to work on something themselves. This tends to imply a temporary split.

  • The noun breakaway has a couple meanings not directly related.

Go away - You are not welcome in the same vincinity as X. You did something wrong if someone's telling you this and not specifiying a destination.

  • You might say someone went away if they left and no one really cared that they left, or everyone wanted them to leave.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.