\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Some also faced additional allegations, including weapon possession and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. oregonlive, 13 June 2022 Despite this intriguing news regarding the onset of microbial evolution here on earth, the road to intelligence seems to have hills and valleys and curves and blind spots that completely elude us. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2022 Rodney Plunkett, 34, of the 1100 block of West 83rd Street, Chicago, was arrested and accused of speeding and fleeing and attempting to elude a peace officer at U.S. 30 and Raintree on March 12, police said. Daily Southtown Staff, chicagotribune.com, 30 Mar. 2022 Instead, the driver took off and was able to elude the officer. John Benson, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2021 To study how moths elude bats, scientists at Boise State University cut off some moths’ tails and fitted out others with fake wing extensions. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 This allows filmmakers to play with symbolism that might elude less identifiable protagonists. ELLE, 3 June 2022 Leahey has 2020 convictions for unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempt to elude police and reckless endangerment of another person. oregonlive, 31 May 2022 At this pace, eliminating racial disparities will continue to elude even our grandchildren. Jared Council, Forbes, 23 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elude. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for elude


\ 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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