\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

Leverett faces nearly a dozen charges, including attempting to elude an officer, Channel 2 reported. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "Cobb motorcyclist told cops he drove 100 mph because he was late for work," 30 June 2018 In the 2017 case, Herrin was charged with attempting to elude police for allegedly leading Des Moines officers on a 60-mph chase before crashing his mother’s car into another vehicle, say court records. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "‘I’m literally so scared for my life’: Woman killed in Kent park feared boyfriend, police say," 25 June 2018 She'd previously been convicted of unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempting to elude a police officer, unlawful possession of methamphetamine and possession of a burglary tool. Everton Bailey Jr., OregonLive.com, "2nd escaped inmate caught trying to help man break into his own car, police say," 8 June 2018 Fredrick was also charged with resisting/obstructing a peace officer and fleeing/attempting to elude a peace officer. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland police blotter," 5 June 2018 Corey Johnson, 21 Gresham Police Department Johnson was arrested on suspicion of attempting to elude, unlawful use of a vehicle and other charges. Jared Gilmour, sacbee, "Thief stole car, abandoned it and fled — until a glowing Lyft sign gave him away, cops say," 4 June 2018 Catholic Memorial senior goalkeeper Lili Berg made the save moving to the right, but the rebound eluded her. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "WIAA soccer: An incredible state title run ends by the narrowest margin," 16 June 2018 Simonetti, inside a neighbor's unoccupied house, climbed out of a window to elude them. Eric Adler And Glenn E. Rice, kansascity, "‘KCPD murdered my only daughter,’ says mother of woman who wielded decorative sword," 15 June 2018 Coutee is a dynamic receiver in the open field capable of eluding defenders. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Andre Johnson impressed with Texans rookie Keke Coutee," 13 July 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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Statistics for elude

Last Updated

5 Nov 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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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