\ ē-ˈlüd How to pronounce elude (audio) \
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

He was convicted of causing more than $2,500 worth of property damage, fleeing and eluding an officer and second-degree recklessly endangering safety, all felonies. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Milwaukee man who was shot by Menomonee Falls police after a gas drive-off has been convicted of several charges," 12 July 2019 The car was eventually stopped near State Road 417 and Landstar Boulevard, but the four suspects were not arrested on fleeing and eluding charges, the report said. David Harris, orlandosentinel.com, "Kissimmee cop fired for lying about unauthorized pursuit, internal investigation shows," 10 July 2019 Hawkins, charged with car theft as well as fleeing and eluding police in the July 5 incident, is in Oakland County Jail in lieu of $250,000 cash bond, said Sgt. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Dashcam captures woman's joy ride, crash in stolen Ferndale police vehicle," 9 July 2019 Still, so long as wide receiver Chris Godwin and tight end O.J. Howard step up following the departures of DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay could unearth the staying power that eluded it in 2018. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Offensive fireworks: 5 NFL teams that will be explosive in 2019," 4 July 2019 He was further charged with fleeing and eluding and criminal damage. cleveland.com, "Woman who doesn’t want to be arrested tries to walk away from officers: Shaker Heights police blotter," 7 June 2019 That this critical moment of truth comes in the midst of a playoff run that eluded him in his glittering prime just adds an extra level of poignancy to the unsettling dynamic. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Mariners didn’t trade for a starting pitcher, putting Felix Hernandez’s next start under microscope," 31 July 2018 By constantly changing companies, operators could continue to re-register their trucks while eluding city officials. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "34 Ice Cream Trucks Towed in Midtown ‘Operation Meltdown’," 5 June 2019 Prosecutors blame the deaths and injuries that night in November on the alleged driver, 21-year-old Luis Alberto Virgen, for trying to elude Border Patrol agents who were pursuing the truck west from Buckman Springs to Boulevard. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trial ordered in Border Patrol pursuit crash that killed 3, injured 7 in East County," 4 June 2019

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

16 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce elude (audio) \
eluded; eluding

Kids Definition of elude

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on elude

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elude

Spanish Central: Translation of elude

Nglish: Translation of elude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elude for Arabic Speakers

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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