\ ē-ˈlüd \
eluded; eluding

Definition of elude 

transitive verb

1 : to avoid adroitly : evade the mice eluded the traps managed to elude capture

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

3 : defy sense 2 it eludes explanation

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of elude in a Sentence

The killer was able to elude the police. The killer has eluded capture. The cause of the disease continues to elude researchers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Eighteen months into Donald Trump’s presidency, the nature of his foreign policy continues to elude most observers. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "How Trump Plans to Change the World," 9 July 2018 Juventus have been dominating the Italian top flight for several years now, yet the Champions League continues to elude them. SI.com, "New Juventus Signing Emre Can Relishing the Prospect of Playing Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo," 9 July 2018 But original thinking and a governing strategy continues to elude them. Fox News, "Nunes tightens screws in his probe into surveillance abuses," 3 July 2018 What is being called artificial general intelligence, machines that would mimic the way humans think, continues to elude scientists. The Christian Science Monitor, "AI can have values if not a conscience," 2 July 2018 That first victory of 2018 continues to elude Jose Urena. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins’ No. 1 starter remains winless after things unravel quickly against the Braves | Miami Herald," 19 May 2018 Police tried using spike strips to stop the car, but Melbourne continued to elude capture, police said. Grant Butler, OregonLive.com, "Police arrest attempted murder suspect after car chase in Southeast Portland," 5 May 2018 If meaningful growth continues to elude Procter, the company may be forced to make deeper cuts. Alexander Coolidge, USA TODAY, "P&G could face a tide of job cuts if profits don't rally," 1 May 2018 If meaningful growth continues to elude Procter, the company may be forced to make deeper cuts. Alexander Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "P&G: As stock slides, more jobs in jeopardy? And what about CEO David Taylor's job?," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elude

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for elude

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

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Phrases Related to elude

elude someone's grasp

Statistics for elude

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elude

The first known use of elude was in 1667

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More Definitions for elude



English Language Learners 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)


\ i-ˈlüd \
eluded; eluding

Kids Definition of elude

: to avoid or escape by being quick, skillful, or tricky

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Comments on elude

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


characteristic trappings or dress

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