\ 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

The cause of this head pain still eludes the medical world. Korin Miller, SELF, "When to See a Doctor About Those Persistent Headaches," 29 Aug. 2018 Hamlen now faces new charges after eluding police, including third-degree assault, reckless driving and resisting arrest. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage police catch suspect who they say fled after ramming SUV through garage wall," 3 July 2018 The Oregon State Police said the 17-year-old Boise boy eventually crashed his 1997 Toyota Camry and was taken into custody on suspicion of reckless driving and eluding authorities. Jim Ryan, OregonLive.com, "Machete-wielding teen arrested after topping 110 mph in Oregon police chase, troopers say," 31 May 2018 Yet the pesky particles have eluded science’s grasp for decades. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 But one group of potential customers has eluded the world's biggest Internet retailer. Jenny Surane, latimes.com, "Amazon's next challenge is to get teens without plastic to buy online," 30 Mar. 2018 Lipscomb's handle had eluded Carnival Cruise ever since. Rachel Siegel, chicagotribune.com, "Carnival trades free cruise for teen's Snapchat handle — with Shaq's help," 30 Mar. 2018 Springlike weather has eluded the Washington region entirely this March. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "It’s not your imagination: March in Washington has been really cold," 26 Mar. 2018 The Orioles swept two games from the New York Mets earlier this month, and their longest winning streak of the season was four in a row in May. But a three-game sweep has eluded them. 2. Josh Land, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles on deck: What to watch Sunday at Braves, plus lineups, broadcast info and more," 24 June 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

12 Feb 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 \
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 express emotion in a dramatic way

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