\ 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 Baker, 34, faces 12 criminal counts, including four of second-degree burglary, five of first-degree criminal mischief and one of attempting to elude a police officer. oregonlive, 6 July 2021 Third, thinking as a group lets us tackle projects that simply elude the grasp of one person, such as operating a navy vessel or a particle accelerator. Matthew Hutson, WSJ, 24 May 2021 Expressing confidence can help people get jobs or promotions that can elude the shy. Svetlana Whitener, Forbes, 20 May 2021 With over 800 species of wildlife in Arizona, the protection of watering holes is important for animals to elude detection, which is guaranteed with Fair Chase. Michael Donohue, The Arizona Republic, 27 June 2021 For progressives in New York State, primary elections on Tuesday night brought a number of victories, even as the biggest apple of them all — New York City’s mayoralty — may elude their grasp. Lisa Lerer, New York Times, 24 June 2021 The Scot admitted to using disguises when in public and consistently sleeping in different locations to elude authorities. Washington Post, 23 June 2021 Matthews also faces charges of resisting arrest, and attempt to flee and elude. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 18 June 2021 By then, Long was in custody in Clark County on unrelated attempt to elude police and fraud charges. oregonlive, 17 June 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

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elude. Accessed 27 Jul. 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

Nglish: Translation of elude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elude for Arabic Speakers


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