verb (used without object), e·loped, e·lop·ing.

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 formse·lope·ment, noune·lop·er, nounnon·e·lope·ment, nounun·e·loped, adjectiveun·e·lop·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for elope

fly, abscond, skip, leave, decamp, bolt, escape, flee, disappear

Examples from the Web for elope

Contemporary Examples of elope

Historical Examples of elope

  • Goujet was an odd fellow, proposing to elope, just the way it happens in novels.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for elope



(intr) to run away secretly with a lover, esp in order to marry
Derived Formselopement, nouneloper, noun

Word Origin for elope

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

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