Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a short holiday

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

Getaway was first used in the mid 19th century to refer to an escape from a difficult situation, especially with reference to thieves escaping with their loot. The meaning of ‘short holiday’ was first used in the early 20th century, while the meaning of ‘a place away from home where you can relax’ dates from the 1960s. Getaway is formed from the components of the phrasal verb ‘to get away‘.


The first meaning for getaway in Macmillan Dictionary is a place away from home where you can relax. It can also be referred to as a ‘hideaway‘. The second meaning is the one given above. A getaway is also an occasion when criminals leave the place where they have committed their crime and to make a getaway is to escape in this way. It can also mean to escape from a boring social situation. Getaway is often found modifying words for vehicles such as ‘car’ or ‘van’ to refer to a vehicle used by criminals to escape the scene of their crime.


“The way I see it, the perfect weekend getaway combines three things: seeing new places, eating delicious local food, and combing the local flea market for unique, one-of-a-kind finds.”
(Lara Spencer, journalist)

“Normally in dangerous situations I have a getaway car.”
(Sacha Baron Cohen, comedian)

Related words

staycation, minibreak, excursion

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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