The object of the present study is to investigate the propagation of two-dimensional waves in a weakly nonlinear and weakly dispersive elastic solid. The reductive perturbation method is directly applied to a Lagrangian whose Euler-Lagrange equations give the field equations for a quadratically nonlinear elastic medium with higher order gradients. In the long-wave approximation, it is shown that the long-time behavior of the two transverse waves is governed by the two coupled modified Kadomtsev-Petviashvili (CMKP) equations. Depending on the choice of the direction of perpendicular dynamics, various forms of the CMKP equations are obtained. Some special solutions are also presented for a simplified form of the CMKP equations. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.