\ 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 How, for example, does a destroyer elude two or more torpedoes speeding toward their target at the same time? cleveland, "‘Greyhound’ review: Tom Hanks’ World War II Navy tale a good fit on Apple TV Plus," 10 July 2020 Despite more than one billion dollars being spent on the playing squad since being bought by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, the European Cup has continued to elude PSG. Matias Grez, CNN, "Champions League draw: European giants discover their fate," 10 July 2020 Cooper, a 27-year-old Portland resident, is accused of crimes including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude police, assault and reckless driving, according to police. oregonlive, "Oregon driver in stolen car hits second driver in stolen car, police say," 8 July 2020 Authorities said Bell was the lone rider of a motorcycle and was attempting to elude police who were in pursuit of him. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Motorcyclist fleeing police killed in southwest Birmingham crash, authorities say," 22 June 2020 Austin used the victim’s debit card at several different places, then attempted to elude an Alabama State Trooper in Lawrence County, Alabama. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Ensley man gets 12 years in federal prison for armed Birmingham carjacking," 26 June 2020 The man, who police have not identified, has been cited for the preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated, attempt to elude, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and hit and run. oregonlive, "Man in critical condition after crashing, stabbing self Thursday in Beaverton," 12 June 2020 Hart said in his efforts to elude capture after ambushing the deputies, Carrillo carjacked one vehicle and attempted to steal several others. CBS News, "Dramatic details emerge in capture of Air Force sergeant accused of killing Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy," 8 June 2020 The basics of childcare, too, elude him, and when one blacked-out afternoon takes a terrible turn, Judy is left with almost nothing — except the burning need to avenge the wrongs that have been done. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Mia Wasikowska pulls the strings in medieval puppetry satire Judy and Punch: Review," 4 June 2020

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

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elude. Accessed 8 Aug. 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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