eloped; eloping

intransitive verb

: 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
: 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
: to slip away : escape
… might have mistaken him for … some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.Washington Irving
: 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
elopement 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 The couple eloped during the pandemic but formally had a wedding ceremony in California earlier this year, according to a Facebook post. Emi Tuyetnhi Tran, NBC News, 21 Nov. 2023 This immersive novel, set in Appalachia, explores the reverberations of a young man’s decision to elope with a teen-age hotel maid. Condé Nast, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 Even when the pair split, and Megh eloped across the country to Kanchanpur, Madan felt privileged. Sean Williams, Harper's Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 The two eloped to Las Vegas about a year later and have since shared three children together: Michael, Lola and Joaquin. David Chiu, Peoplemag, 12 Sep. 2023 Related Stories My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 The Bottom Line Pleasant enough, but may be time to elope. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Sep. 2023 The couple eloped in Las Vegas in 2019 and then had an intimate ceremony a month later at Château de Tourreau in the south of France. Diana Dasrath, NBC News, 5 Sep. 2023 The pair elope in Las Vegas after the Billboard Music Awards. Glamour, 4 Sep. 2023 When Carl and Dolly got engaged, Carl's mother was excited to plan a big wedding, because her only daughter had eloped, Dolly told CMT. Maria Carter, Country Living, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'elope.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Anglo-French aloper, esloper to abduct, run away

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of elope was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near elope

Cite this Entry

“Elope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elope. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


eloped; eloping
: to run away secretly especially to get married without parental consent
elopement noun
eloper noun

More from Merriam-Webster on elope

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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