Etymology
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refugee (n.)

1680s, "one who flees to a refuge or shelter or place of safety; one who in times of persecution or political disorder flees to a foreign country for safety," from French refugié, a noun use of the past participle of refugier "to take shelter, protect," from Old French refuge "hiding place," from Latin refugium "a taking refuge; place to flee back to," from re- "back" (see re-) + fugere "to flee" (see fugitive (adj.)) + -ium , neuter ending in a sense of "place for."

In English, the word was first applied to French Huguenots who fled persecution in their native country after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes. The word meant "one seeking asylum" until 1914, when it evolved to mean "one fleeing home" (first applied in this sense to civilians in Flanders heading west to escape fighting in World War I). In Australian slang from World War II, reffo.

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phobia (n.)

"irrational fear, horror, or aversion; fear of an imaginary evil or undue fear of a real one," 1786, perhaps based on a similar use in French, abstracted from compounds in -phobia, the word-forming element from Greek phobos "fear, panic fear, terror, outward show of fear; object of fear or terror," originally "flight" (still the only sense in Homer), but it became the common word for "fear" via the notion of "panic flight" (compare phobein "put to flight; frighten"), from PIE root *bhegw- "to run" (source also of Lithuanian bėgu, bėgti "to flee;" Old Church Slavonic begu "flight," bezati "to flee, run;" Old Norse bekkr "a stream").

The psychological sense of "an abnormal or irrational fear" is attested by 1895. Hence also Phobos as the name of the inner satellite of Mars (discovered 1877) and named for Phobos, the personification of fear, in mythology a companion of Ares.

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incur (v.)
c. 1400, "bring (an undesirable consequence) upon oneself;" mid-15c. as "become liable for (payment or expenses)," from Anglo-French encurir, Old French encorir "to run, flee; commit, contract, incur" (Modern French encourir), from Latin incurrere "run into or against, rush at, make an attack;" figuratively, "to befall, happen, occur to," from in- "upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + currere "to run" (from PIE root *kers- "to run"). Related: Incurred; incurring.
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centrifugal (adj.)

"flying off or proceeding out from a center," 1690s, with adjectival suffix -al (1) + Modern Latin centrifugus, 1687, coined by Sir Isaac Newton in "Principia" (which is written in Latin), from Latin centri-, alternative combining form of centrum "center" (see center (n.)) + fugere "to flee" (see fugitive (adj.)). Centrifugal force is Newton's vis centrifuga.

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runaway (n.)

1540s (late 13c. as a surname), "one who flees or departs; a fugitive, deserter," from the verbal phrase run away "flee in the face of danger" (late 14c.); see run (v.) + away (adv.). From c. 1600 as "horse which bolts while being driven or ridden," later extended to railway trains, etc. The meaning "an act of running away" is from 1724.

As an adjective, "acting the part of a runaway, escaping from restraint or control," 1540s; in modern use especially of conditions, forces, reactions, etc., from 1925.

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toxic (adj.)

1660s, from French toxique and directly from Late Latin toxicus "poisoned," from Latin toxicum "poison," from Greek toxikon (pharmakon) "(poison) for use on arrows," from toxikon, neuter of toxikos "pertaining to arrows or archery," and thus to a bow, from toxon "bow," probably from a Scythian word that also was borrowed into Latin as taxus "yew." Watkins suggests a possible source in Iranian taxša- "bow," from PIE *tekw- "to run, flee." As a noun from 1890. Toxic waste is by 1888 in medicine, "toxin;" by 1955 as "chemical or radioactive waste."

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scatter (v.)

mid-12c., scateren, transitive, "to squander;" c. 1300, "to separate and drive off in disorder;" late 14c., "to throw loosely about, strew here and there," possibly a northern English variant of Middle English schateren (see shatter), reflecting Norse influence. The intransitive sense, "go or flee in different directions, disperse" is from c. 1300. As a noun from 1640s, "act or action of scattering;" by 1950 in reference to radio waves.

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nidicolous (adj.)

of birds, "bearing young which are helpless at birth," 1896, from Modern Latin Nidicolae (1894), the zoologists' collective name for the species of birds having the young born in a more or less helpless condition, unable to leave the nest for some time and fed directly by the parent, from Latin nidus "nest" (see nest (n.)) + colere "to inhabit" (see colony). Contrasted to nidifugous birds (1902), whose young are well-developed and leave the nest at birth (from Latin fugere "to flee").

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scamper (v.)

"to run quickly, hasten away," 1680s, probably from Flemish schampeeren, frequentative of schampen "run away," from Old North French escamper (Old French eschamper) "to run away, flee, quit the battlefield, escape," from Vulgar Latin *excampare "decamp," literally "leave the field," from Latin ex campo, from ex "out of" (see ex-) + campo, ablative of campus "field" (see campus).

A vogue word late 17c.; "Not improbably the word was originally military slang" [OED]. Related: Scampered; scampering. The noun is 1680s, "a hasty run or flight," from the verb.

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traipse (v.)
1590s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal French trepasser "pass over or beyond," from Old French trespasser "cross, traverse, transgress" (see trespass). Or from a source related to Middle Dutch trappen, dialectal Norwegian trappa "to tread, stamp" (see trap (n.)). Liberman points out that it resembles German traben "tramp" "and other similar verbs meaning 'tramp; wander; flee' in several European languages. They seem to have been part of soldiers' and vagabonds' slang between 1400 and 1700. In all likelihood, they originated as onomatopoeias and spread to neighboring languages from Low German." Related: Traipsed; traipsing.
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