allusion

[ uh-loo-zhuh n ]
/ əˈlu ʒən /

noun

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

1540–50; < Late Latin allūsiōn- (stem of allūsiō), equivalent to allūs(us), past participle of allūdere (see allude; al- + lūd- play + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms

pre·al·lu·sion, noun

Can be confused

allusion referenceallusion delusion elusion hallucination illusion (see synonym study at illusion)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for allusion

British Dictionary definitions for allusion

allusion

/ (əˈluːʒən) /

noun

the act of alluding
a passing reference; oblique or obscure mention

Word Origin for allusion

C16: from Late Latin allūsiō, from Latin allūdere to sport with, allude
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

Culture definitions for allusion

allusion


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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.