al·​lu·​sive | \ ə-ˈlü-siv How to pronounce allusive (audio) , -ziv \

Definition of allusive

: characterized by or containing allusion : making implied or indirect references Both men employ a densely allusive prose, richly embedded with the fruit of their reading, and both use language as a tool by which to explore and define themselves.—Michiko Kakutani One way that Cuarón avoids solipsism is to keep his own most consequential experiences to the story's margins—his parents' split is portrayed obliquely, through allusive moments and eavesdropped conversations.— Ann Hornaday

Other Words from allusive

allusively adverb
He speaks so rapidly and so allusively that listening to a lecture by him is an exhausting as well as an enriching experience. — Gertrude Himmelfarb
allusiveness noun
Ballet can't convey historical detail; its power is in allusiveness, in imagery, in suggesting states of mind and emotion that words cannot capture. — Roslyn Sulcas

First Known Use of allusive

1607, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about allusive

Time Traveler for allusive

Time Traveler

The first known use of allusive was in 1607

See more words from the same year

Statistics for allusive

Cite this Entry

“Allusive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on allusive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allusive

Nglish: Translation of allusive for Spanish Speakers

Comments on allusive

What made you want to look up allusive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!