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[ih-lohp] /ɪˈloʊp/
verb (used without object), eloped, eloping.
to run off secretly to be married, usually without the consent or knowledge of one's parents.
to run away with a lover.
to leave without permission or notification; escape:
At age 21, the apprentice eloped from his master.
(of a person with a mental disorder or cognitive impairment) to leave or run away from a safe area or safe premises.
Origin of elope
1590-1600; Middle English *alopen to run away (whence Anglo-French aloper). See a-3, lope
Related forms
elopement, noun
eloper, noun
nonelopement, noun
uneloped, adjective
uneloping, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for elope
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Goujet was an odd fellow, proposing to elope, just the way it happens in novels.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • The man who had induced her to elope with him sat at dice with a gentleman from London!

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • Why don't you elope with some one—the dark, clinging girl—and let me free?

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
  • "Perhaps she will elope," the doctor said to his wife, humorously.

    The Man Who Wins Robert Herrick
  • Well if one is on his way to elope—it is all the same:—one must have a companion, if not the one, then the other.'

    Debts of Honor Maurus Jkai
  • Yes, that's it, she means to elope with him, but what am I to do?

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • You promised Countess Rostova to marry her and were about to elope with her, is that so?

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
British Dictionary definitions for elope


(intransitive) to run away secretly with a lover, esp in order to marry
Derived Forms
elopement, noun
eloper, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Anglo-French aloper, perhaps from Middle Dutch lōpen to run; see lope
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for elope

1590s, "to run off," probably a reborrowing from Middle Dutch (ont)lopen "run away." Sense of "run from parents to marry secretly" is 19c. Anglo-French aloper "run away from a husband with one's lover" is attested from mid-14c., but there is a gap of many years.

The Anglo-French word represents Old French es- + Middle English lepen "run, leap" (see leap (v.)).

The oldest Germanic word for "wedding" is represented by Old English brydlop (cf. Old High German bruthlauft, Old Norse bruðhlaup), literally "bride run," the conducting of the woman to her new home. Related: Eloped; eloping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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