One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Run away, typically leaving unpaid debts.‘the clerk had levanted before his employer returned from America’
withdraw, retire, draw back, pull back, pull out, fall back, give way, give ground, recoil, flee, take flight, beat a retreat, beat a hasty retreat, run away, run off, make a run for it, run for it, make off, take off, take to one's heels, make a break for it, bolt, make a quick exit, clear out, make one's getaway, escape, head for the hillsView synonyms
- ‘Clutching same, he levanted from Paris and headed for the US via London.’
Early 17th century: perhaps from Levant: compare with French faire voile en Levant ‘be stolen or spirited away’, literally ‘set sail for the Levant’.
The eastern part of the Mediterranean with its islands and neighbouring countries.
Late 15th century: from French, literally ‘rising’, present participle of lever ‘to lift’ used as a noun in the sense ‘point of sunrise, east’.
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