\ 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

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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 For some, the whole ritual is hollow and trivial to begin with, so the pandemic is a perfect excuse to just elope. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: I’m Afraid to Go to My Brother’s Wedding," 17 June 2020 The couple decided to elope on April 3, a day before the ceremony. al, "Say ‘yes’ to fall weddings: COVID-19 shifts wedding season to football season," 12 June 2020 However, the rule of etiquette is that gifts are required when someone accepts a wedding invitation, and your son chose to elope instead of having one, which may explain the lack of response from your relatives. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Virtual family dinners help ease feelings of isolation," 7 June 2020 Ciao Bella Celebrations Anna Davila and Bryce Cole had planned to elope in late March, while in New Orleans to attend the wedding of friends. New York Times, "An Elopement Closer to Home," 18 Apr. 2020 Some might just give up and elope—which might mean having a tiny low-key ceremony, getting married at a courthouse or by a virtual courthouse officiant, or holding a self-uniting wedding. Ashley Fetters, The Atlantic, "The Coronavirus Could Change Weddings for Years to Come," 18 May 2020 The actors ended up eloping and tying the knot soon after in Las Vegas on May 1, 1996. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Post Super PDA-Filled Instagrams for Their Anniversary," 2 May 2020 The Drawhorns eloped in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and had a backyard reception later at a total cost of $2,000. Lois Smith Brady, New York Times, "An Unexpected Path Leads to a Fresh Start," 31 Jan. 2020 Because her parents disapproved of the match, thanks largely to John’s modest pedigree, the couple eloped in October 1841. Andrew R. Graybill, WSJ, "‘Imperfect Union’ Review: Mr. & Mrs. Pathfinder," 17 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for elope

Time Traveler

The first known use of elope was in 1593

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Statistics for elope

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elope. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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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

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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

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