\ i-ˈlōp How to pronounce elope (audio) \
eloped; eloping

Definition of elope

intransitive verb

1a : to run away secretly with the intention of getting married usually without parental consent … Waterman was a peevish child who grew into a defiant teenager, eloped at 18 largely to shock his father, and then—far too young—was a father himself.— Elizabeth Gilbert
b : to run away from one's spouse with a lover " … when they had been married nearly seven years, and were within a few weeks of the time when the brother's death would have adjusted all, she eloped with a younger man, and left him."— Charles Dickens
2a : to slip away : escape … might have mistaken him for … some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.— Washington Irving
b : to leave a health-care or educational facility without permission or authorization …10 suicidal patients deemed 'high risk for suicide' eloped from the Emergency Department from October 2014 and February 2015.— Charles S. Clark Police in Ohio said this week that they gave a nursing home resident a ride and dropped him off at a gas station without ever knowing he was a dementia patient who had eloped.— Kimberly Marselas

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from elope

elopement \ i-​ˈlōp-​mənt How to pronounce elopement (audio) \ noun, plural elopements
… the young couple at a nearby table sent over some of their dessert, a slice of cake specially ordered to celebrate their elopement. — David Massey …if the child is afraid of loud noises or crowded environments, a classroom could be intimidating and cause him to be anxious. He might engage in problematic behaviors such as elopement (running away), hand flapping, or yelling … — Erica Kearney
eloper noun, plural elopers
And of course, Las Vegas is no longer just for elopers. With all the elegant hotels springing up in Sin City, more couples are choosing to haul the whole wedding party out and do things up right. — John Winters

Examples of elope in a Sentence

The couple eloped in the middle of the night.
Recent Examples on the Web James and Priscilla had been recruited to teach in China shortly after eloping in his home state of Tennessee more than a decade ago. James T. Areddy, WSJ, "An American Mother’s Desperate Attempt to Get Out of Wuhan With Her Daughter," 29 Jan. 2020 The two eloped in 1988 and have five children together: Bristol, Trig, Track, Willow and Piper. Sophie Dodd, PEOPLE.com, "All the Celebrity Couples Who've Called It Quits in 2019," 11 Dec. 2019 Jessie defied her father, who wanted a big wedding with a groom of good family, and eloped with John. H.w. Brands, Washington Post, "John and Jessie Frémont’s story of gold, ambition and the American West," 24 Jan. 2020 Marjan and Berk decided to elope to cut down on the cost and stress of planning a huge party far in advance. Justine Marjan, Glamour, "I'm a Celebrity Hairstylist, and My Wedding Beauty Look Cost $21,159," 18 Dec. 2019 Dear Miss Manners: Two months after my daughter got married, she and her husband were told that two weeks before their wedding, her husband's brother eloped. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Brother’s home life not yours to fix," 3 Aug. 2019 Roger's hope was left up to a granddaughter, who eloped instead. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Ghost stories and legends abound at these haunted restaurants," 28 Oct. 2019 Everything is prepared for people who want to elope. New York Times, "Brought Together by Fate, and Three Finicky Cats," 6 Sep. 2019 My friend eloped for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was her husband’s parents were in poor health. BostonGlobe.com, "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine," 7 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of elope

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for elope

Anglo-French aloper, esloper to abduct, run away

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about elope

Time Traveler for elope

Time Traveler

The first known use of elope was in 1593

See more words from the same year

Statistics for elope

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elope. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for elope


How to pronounce elope (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of elope

: to run away secretly to get married


\ i-ˈlōp How to pronounce elope (audio) \
eloped; eloping

Kids Definition of elope

: to run away to be married

Other Words from elope

elopement \ -​mənt \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on elope

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elope

Spanish Central: Translation of elope

Nglish: Translation of elope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elope for Arabic Speakers

Comments on elope

What made you want to look up elope? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!