\ 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 Others, such as a vaccine to stop HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, still elude scientists. The Economist, "Run, don’t walk The race to produce a vaccine for the latest coronavirus," 6 Feb. 2020 The agency’s Jenny Schlueter says another coyote was spotted in the same area Thursday night but eluded capture. USA TODAY, "MLK, robot unemployment, Python Bowl: News from around our 50 states," 14 Jan. 2020 For so long, the postseason has eluded the Grand Prairie boys basketball program. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Jaylin Posey’s return to Grand Prairie could be key to ending one of the longest playoff droughts in the Dallas area," 14 Jan. 2020 Authorities on the hunt for coyotes in downtown Chicago after two reported attacks caught one Thursday night on the city's North Side but a second eluded capture. CBS News, "Coyote caught in Chicago, second on the loose after attacks," 10 Jan. 2020 One was arrested nearby, but the other two suspects eluded deputies, according to the release. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area constable uses drone to catch suspected car thieves," 7 Jan. 2020 Agnew eluded at least four tackle attempts by the Broncos (Joe Jones, Josey Jewell, Davontae Harris and Colby Wadman) on his way to the end zone. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos overcome slow start to beat Detroit for third win in four games," 22 Dec. 2019 While Robinson eluded police for nearly two years, his wife, Frances, and father, Thomas Robinson Sr. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "The bizarre story of a kidnapped Louisville heiress held captive in Indianapolis," 20 Dec. 2019 In this way, the conversation about human and labor rights in fashion has carefully eluded global culpability, convincing Western consumers that abuse is something that happens far away. Haley Mlotek, The New Republic, "Fast Fashion at the End of the World," 19 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for elude

Time Traveler

The first known use of elude was in 1667

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Statistics for elude

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elude. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for elude


How to pronounce elude (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elude

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elude

Spanish Central: Translation of elude

Nglish: Translation of elude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elude for Arabic Speakers

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