on the lam

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From lam (flight, escape), from lam (to thrash, beat), from Middle English lamen (to injure, maim), from Old English lemian (to cripple, make lame, strike) and Old Norse lemja (to beat, disable, suppress), related to Old Norse lamning (a beating).

Adjective[edit]

on the lam (not comparable)

  1. Running away, usually from the police; on the run.
    • 2012, The Economist, September 15th, Vietnam: A Tiger at Bay
      There have been more bank runs, executives on the lam, arrests and credit panics than the country has seen in years.

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