Abscond VS Elope: Running away with a lover


Castilian Spanish
Hello everyone!

What I intend to find is a verb that describes the action of running away with a lover.
What's the right word for it?

I already knew elope, but I just came across this new word for me (abscond) and I wanted to learn how
to use it properly.

Do both words -elope and abscond- mean exactly the same? In which cases would you use which word?

Thank you very much!
  • waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I would not use "abscond" to refer to running away with a lover - typically it implies running away from the law.


    Moderate Mod
    No, they really don't mean at all the same thing except that they both involve running away.

    means "run away to get married." Just running away with a lover wouldn't qualify as an elopement because the couple's intention has to be to get married.

    Abscond means to run away to avoid being arrested or prosecuted. It has nothing to do with lovers or marriage or anything like that.


    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    To elope - to run away with a lover in order to get married
    To abscond - to run away with the stolen loot in order to avoid the long arm of the law



    Discussion added to previous thread. Cagey, moderator.


    What's the difference between "elope" and "abscond"?

    She eloped with an Army officer.
    She absconded from boarding school with her boyfriend.

    (Sentence taken form "CALD3")

    These verbs seem to have the same meaning, but probably they haven't. :confused:

    Please help,

    Thank you so much. :)
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    Quite clear explanations in the WR dictionary - didn't they help?

    The main difference is that "elope" is usually specifically used in the context of running off with a lover to get married or live with him/her (it seems to have had a wider meaning earlier), while abscond means to run away/go into hiding and can be used in different contexts.

    Earlier thread: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/abscond-vs-elope-running-away-with-a-lover.2664061/
    Last edited:


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "Abscond" has a definite negative connotation. I'd expect to hear it in sentences like, "The long-time employee absconded with the contents of the cash register."
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