elusive

play
adjective elu·sive \ ē-ˈlü-siv , -ˈlü-ziv \

Definition of elusive

:tending to elude: such as
a :tending to evade grasp or pursuit
  • elusive prey
b :hard to comprehend or define
c :hard to isolate or identify

elusively

adverb

elusiveness

noun

Examples of elusive in a Sentence

  1. But for all their influence, D.C. lobbyists have failed to attain one elusive goal: public respect. —Franklin FoerNew Republic25 Mar. 2002
  2. In truth, the ideal of wholly disinterested scholarship—in any field of research—will probably remain an elusive one. —Henry Louis Gates, Jr.New York Times4 Apr. 1998
  3. His meanings have been known to be elusive, which is why he appeals to pop cryptographers. —Sarah VowellGQNovember 1998
  4. This boson is so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive, that I have given it a nickname: the God Particle. —Leon Lederman et al.The God Particle1993
  5. The truth may prove elusive.

  6. the giant squid is one of the ocean's most elusive inhabitants

Recent Examples of elusive from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elusive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of elusive


ELUSIVE Defined for English Language Learners

elusive

play
adjective

Definition of elusive for English Language Learners

  • : hard to find or capture

  • : hard to understand, define, or remember


ELUSIVE Defined for Kids

elusive

play
adjective elu·sive \ i-ˈlü-siv \

Definition of elusive for Students

1 :hard to find or capture
  • elusive treasure
  • an elusive thief
2 :hard to understand or define
  • an elusive idea


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