verb (used with object), e·lud·ed, e·lud·ing.

to avoid or escape by speed, cleverness, trickery, etc.; evade: to elude capture.
to escape the understanding, perception, or appreciation of: The answer eludes me.

Nearby words

  1. eluant,
  2. eluate,
  3. elucidate,
  4. elucidation,
  5. elucubrate,
  6. eluent,
  7. elul,
  8. elura,
  9. elusion,
  10. elusive

Origin of elude

1530–40; < Latin ēlūdere to deceive, evade, equivalent to ē- e-1 + lūdere to play, deceive

Related formse·lud·er, nounun·e·lud·ed, adjective

Can be confusedallowed allude aloud elude

Synonym study

1. See escape.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elude

British Dictionary definitions for elude


verb (tr)

to escape or avoid (capture, one's pursuers, etc), esp by cunning
to avoid fulfilment of (a responsibility, obligation, etc); evade
to escape discovery, or understanding by; bafflethe solution eluded her
Derived Formseluder, nounelusion (ɪˈluːʒən), noun

Word Origin for elude

C16: from Latin ēlūdere to deceive, from lūdere to play


Elude is sometimes wrongly used where allude is meant: he was alluding (not eluding ) to his previous visit to the city

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

Word Origin and History for elude



1530s, "delude, make a fool of," from Latin eludere "escape from, make a fool of, win from at play," from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Sense of "evade" is first recorded 1610s in a figurative sense, 1630s in a literal one. Related: Eluded; eludes; eluding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper