Definition of elide in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Omit (a sound or syllable) when speaking.

    ‘English speakers often elide the vowel completely’
    • ‘As a result, the coach has Bill as its antecedent (of some sort), hence making it possible for the second elided pronoun, which bears a -occurrence, to be resolved.’
    • ‘Unstressed o may be more or less reduced to the value of SCHWA, or elided altogether.’
    • ‘In words bearing stress on the third last syllable, and in which the penultimate syllable contains a schwa followed by either l or r, there is a tendency for the schwa to be elided.’
    leave out, exclude, fail to include, except, shut out, leave off, take out, miss out, miss, fail to mention, pass over, drop, delete, cut, erase, eliminate, expunge, rub out, cross out, strike out, dispense with
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Join together; merge.
      ‘whole periods of time are elided into a few seconds of screen time’
      no object ‘the two things elided in his mind’
      • ‘In so doing, the visible engagement with genocide becomes elided into the refusal of representation that surrounds the Holocaust.’
      • ‘Concern about new human rights requirements elided into the gross inequality whereby he was allowed to pay for his incarceration in a comfortable house, with a security firm of his own choosing.’
      • ‘This is particularly true because of the way in which the war on terror has elided into preparations for a war against Iraq.’
      • ‘The interrupted circle terminates not quite in a point, by which time the green has elided into a dull, irritated red.’
      • ‘Omnipotent fantasy may also dissolve a variety of conceptual boundaries that obstruct intimacy by eliding them with the dissolving boundary between pain and pleasure-boundaries of temporality, gender, or generation, for instance.’
      • ‘Raven was clearly justified in eliding details of the two plots, in the interest of stiffening his adaptation, and making it plausible to 1970s viewers.’
      • ‘Blair must have hoped that by the time of the publication of the report the problem of the non-existing weapons of mass destruction would have gone away, been forgotten or mistakenly elided in the public mind with the Hutton Inquiry.’
      • ‘Misty hindsight has led some to remember Rapido as primarily an indie-based show, perhaps eliding it with DEF II stablemate Snub TV.’
      • ‘I accept that the word SPORK involves a clever idea of making a single word by eliding the end of the word spoon and beginning of the word fork.’
      • ‘On Dig Your Own Hole, Beth Orton's looping lament to wasted comedown mornings gradually elided into one of that record's most assertive beats.’
      • ‘Women in film, thus, do not function as signifiers for a signified (a real woman) as sociological critics have assumed, but signifier and signified have been elided into a sign that represents something in the male unconscious.’
      • ‘The close proximity of two ‘L' s’ in al-Ilah caused them to be elided together so that the word became Allah.’
      • ‘The ‘siege’ in the title refers to the way in which standardization elides the individual speaking mouths and the full resonance of their sounds in favor of convenience.’


The standard meaning of the verb elide is ‘omit,’ most frequently used as a term to describe the way that some sounds or syllables are dropped in speech, e.g., in contractions such as I'll or he's. The result of such omission (or elision) is that the two surrounding syllables are merged; this fact has given rise to a new sense, with the meaning ‘join together, merge,’ as in the two things elided in his mind. This new sense is now common in general use


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘annul’, chiefly as a Scots legal term): from Latin elidere ‘crush out’, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + laedere ‘to dash’.