take it on the lam

take it on the lam


  1. a hasty escape; flight.

verb (used without object), lammed, lam·ming.

  1. to run away quickly; escape; flee: I’m going to lam out of here as soon as I’ve finished.


  1. on the lam, escaping, fleeing, or hiding, especially from the police: He’s been on the lam ever since he escaped from jail.
  2. take it on the lam, to flee or escape in great haste: The swindler took it on the lam and was never seen again.

verb lams, lamming or lammed slang

  1. (tr) to thrash or beat
  2. (intr; usually foll by into or out) to make a sweeping stroke or blow


  1. a sudden flight or escape, esp to avoid arrest
  2. on the lam
    1. making an escape
    2. in hiding

verb lams, lamming or lammed

  1. (intr) to escape or flee

n.“flight,” as in on the lam, 1897, from a U.S. slang verb meaning “to run off” (1886), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow from the first element of lambaste, which was used in British student slang for “beat” since 1590s; if so, it would give the word the same etymological sense as the slang expression beat it. see on the lam.

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