\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

Police said Victor Ebai, 28, of Springfield, Va., managed to run from the scene, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on felony hit and run and eluding charges. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, "Arlington police still searching for driver in head-on collision on I-66," 9 July 2018 The vehicle continued west on Silver Spring Drive and eventually eluded police. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "18-year-old arrested for hitting Glendale cop with a stolen car while fleeing police," 25 June 2018 In 2017, Apple removed VPN apps that people had used to elude Chinese censorship. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "China is making the internet less free, and US tech companies are helping," 2 Nov. 2018 The charitable explanation is that this nuance eludes prosecutors who have no experience in business. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Peak Embarrassment in War on Oil," 25 Oct. 2018 He was arrested on suspicion of felony assault, eluding and driving under the influence, police said. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "Bothell police officer injured, 4 patrol cars damaged in man’s attempt to flee," 17 Oct. 2018 Goff found Kupp with two beautiful TD throws in the first half, the first hitting Kupp in stride on a 70-yard sprint , and the second eluding two Vikings and dropping into Kupp's hands deep in the end zone. Greg Beacham, Fox News, "Rams top Vikings, 38-31, as Goff throws for 465 yards, 5 TDs," 28 Sep. 2018 In the early morning of August 13, police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, arrested a teenager with a dirt bike on an eluding complaint, according to Fox 25 News. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "A Teen Was Arrested for Running From the Cops After Using a Ouija Board in a Cemetery," 13 Aug. 2018 Baez, competing in the Home Run Derby on Monday, hit a deep drive that eluded the outstretched glove of rookie Steven Duggar and cleared the center field wall. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Kris Bryant, Javier Baez hit HRs, Cubs-Giants tied at 4 in 12th," 11 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

3 Dec 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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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

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to enclose within walls

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