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[uh-loo-siv] /əˈlu sɪv/
having reference to something implied or inferred; containing, abounding in, or characterized by allusions.
Obsolete. metaphorical; symbolic; figurative.
Origin of allusive
First recorded in 1595-1605; allus(ion) + -ive
Related forms
allusively, adverb
allusiveness, noun
unallusive, adjective
unallusively, adverb
unallusiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for allusive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Some, as Austria, instead of one Eagle, adopt two as their allusive emblazonry.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
  • My indictment will be short, as some of the parties is not present to which you have been allusive.

  • They both signify the same thing; both are allusive to a purification of life.

    The Symbolism of Freemasonry Albert G. Mackey
  • When Austin explained Viviette's meaning to his mother, who had not an allusive habit of mind, she acquiesced placidly.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • Henry James, Senior, dealt with such things in the most allusive and paradoxical terms.

  • The old sacred name Yahweh is never pronounced; even “God” is avoided for allusive titles like “heaven” or “place.”

  • He loved to come at the truth of things by allusive, far-off reflections, rather than by the sharp questioning of the witness-box.

    Romany of the Snows Gilbert Parker
  • It is indeed an allusive title, carrying the world back to the Wilhelm Meister of Goethe, a century and a half earlier.

    The World Set Free Herbert George Wells
  • It was allusive only, but knowing the dialect, Pierston and Marcia gathered its import easily.

    The Well-Beloved Thomas Hardy
British Dictionary definitions for allusive


containing or full of allusions
Derived Forms
allusively, adverb
allusiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for allusive

c.1600, from Latin allus-, past participle stem of alludere (see allude) + -ive. Related: Allusively; allusiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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