take to one's heels
- (idiomatic) To leave, especially to flee or run away.
1839, Charles Dickens, chapter 10, in Oliver Twist:
- [T]hen, confused and frightened, he took to his heels; and, not knowing what he did, made off as fast as he could lay his feet to the ground.
1908, Robert Louis Stevenson, chapter 26, in In the South Seas:
- Of a sudden, however, a man broke from their company, took to his heels, and fled into the church.
- 1955 July 4, "Art: Patriot Painter," Time:
- After returning the fire three times, Peale's men saw the enemy formed near the college take to their heels.
to flee or run away