1590s, a legal term, "to annul, do away with," from Middle French elider (16c.), from Latin elidere "strike out, force out," in grammar "suppress (a vowel)" from ex "out" (see ex-) + -lidere, combining form of laedere "to strike" (see collide). The Latin word in grammatical use translates Greek ekthlibein. Phonological sense "slurring over a sound or part of a word" in English is first recorded 1796. Related: Elided; eliding.