- a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication: The novel's title is an allusion to Shakespeare.
- the act of alluding; the making of a casual or indirect reference to something: The Bible is a fertile source of allusion in art.
- Obsolete. a metaphor or parable.
Origin of allusion
Related Wordsquotation, connotation, remark, inference, suggestion, innuendo, citation, insinuation, imputation, mention, charge, indication, statement, intimation, denotation, implication
Examples from the Web for allusion
From Cyrus on, however, it was all, to borrow another Biblical allusion, fire and brimstone.Netanyahu Swims Against Iranian Diplomatic Current
October 2, 2013
And near the end of the play, Seguin offered an allusion to Fiddler on the Roof, yelling, “Sunrise, sunset!”Chaz Bono’s ‘Independence Day’: Strippers, Racism & More Crazy Moments
June 25, 2013
I never miss a chance to make an allusion to their similarity.‘Mad Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner on the Season Finale
June 24, 2013
So should the allusion to the Vietnam War trump that of doomed Sharon Tate?‘Mad Men’: The Bizarre Megan Draper as Sharon Tate Conspiracy Theory
May 29, 2013
The allusion to Prime Suspect, a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic, is well founded.The Haunting New Serial-Killer Thriller Heading to Netflix
May 22, 2013
The allusion and a consciousness of Vancouver brought a smile into Viviette's eyes.
Austin, who did not see the allusion, had to allow Dick to speak for himself.
The youth vanishes; no reader can find a trace of him, or even an allusion to him.The Man Shakespeare
Strange to say, he made no allusion to his daughter's return nor to Jim's absence.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
I have been early taught to shun all allusion to his memory.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- the act of alluding
- a passing reference; oblique or obscure mention
Word Origin and History for allusion
1540s, from Latin allusionem (nominative allusio) "a playing with, a reference to," noun of action from past participle stem of alludere (see allude). An allusion is never an outright or explicit mention of the person or thing the speaker seems to have in mind.
An indirect reference to some piece of knowledge not actually mentioned. Allusions usually come from a body of information that the author presumes the reader will know. For example, an author who writes, “She was another Helen,” is alluding to the proverbial beauty of Helen of Troy.