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verb \ē-ˈlüd\

Simple Definition of elude

  • : to avoid or escape (someone or something) by being quick, skillful, or clever

  • : to fail to be understood or remembered by (someone)

  • : to fail to be achieved by (someone)

Full Definition of elude


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to avoid adroitly :  evade <the mice eluded the traps> <managed to elude capture>

  3. 2 :  to escape the perception, understanding, or grasp of <subtlety simply eludes them> <victory continued to elude us>

  4. 3 :  defy 4 <it eludes explanation>

Examples of elude

  1. The killer was able to elude the police.

  2. The killer has eluded capture.

  3. The cause of the disease continues to elude researchers.

Origin of elude

Latin eludere, from e- + ludere to play — more at ludicrous

First Known Use: 1667

Synonym Discussion of elude

escape, avoid, evade, elude, shun, eschew mean to get away or keep away from something. escape stresses the fact of getting away or being passed by not necessarily through effort or by conscious intent <nothing escapes her sharp eyes>. avoid stresses forethought and caution in keeping clear of danger or difficulty <try to avoid past errors>. evade implies adroitness, ingenuity, or lack of scruple in escaping or avoiding <evaded the question by changing the subject>. elude implies a slippery or baffling quality in the person or thing that escapes <what she sees in him eludes me>. shun often implies an avoiding as a matter of habitual practice or policy and may imply repugnance or abhorrence <you have shunned your responsibilities>. eschew implies an avoiding or abstaining from as unwise or distasteful <a playwright who eschews melodrama>.

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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