\ 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 His lawyer, Al Watkins, asserted during a hearing in Washington, D.C., that Bennett was not trying to elude authorities. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, 14 May 2021 Lewis was captured Thursday while trying to steal a family's car on the Eisenhower Expressway after crashing his own trying to elude police, Brown said. CBS News, 25 Apr. 2021 Miller writes about criminal justice with the expertise of a legal scholar, but his life experiences and training as a social worker endow his analysis with a vividness and empathy that elude some other critiques of mass incarceration. Washington Post, 5 Mar. 2021 He was convicted of speeding to elude arrest in 2003 but wasn’t imprisoned in North Carolina as a result of any violent offenses, according to the records. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2021 The mental part of the game didn’t elude Luke Walton, who played 10 years in the NBA and is now the head coach of the Sacramento Kings. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 2021 This was a goal that the 1971-72 Lakers achieved against the New York Knicks (whose roster included Jackson) but which in 2016 would elude the Warriors (coached by Steve Kerr, a member of the record-breaking Bulls). Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, 21 Apr. 2021 On July 21, Dupuch, the commandant, growing impatient with Roget’s efforts to elude captivity, demanded that Roget present Genevese papers by 7 a.m. the next day; otherwise, Roget would join his fellow countrymen who were being readied for Verdun. Claudia Kalb, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Apr. 2021 These five existential physics puzzles still elude explanation. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021

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

29 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elude. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on elude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elude

Nglish: Translation of elude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elude for Arabic Speakers


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