elude

verb \ ē-ˈlüd \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of elude

eluded; eluding
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 4
  • it eludes explanation

Examples of elude in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of elude from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of elude

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

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


ELUDE Defined for English Language Learners

elude

verb

Definition of elude for English Language Learners

  • : 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)


ELUDE Defined for Kids

elude

verb \ i-ˈlüd \

Definition of elude for Students

eluded; eluding
: to avoid or escape by being quick, skillful, or tricky


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to provide what is needed to exist

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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