- eluding or failing to allow for or accommodate a clear perception or complete mental grasp; hard to express or define: an elusive concept.
- cleverly or skillfully evasive: a fish too elusive to catch.
- difficult to find: hoping that elusive donors will finally contribute.
Also e·lu·so·ry [ih-loo-suh-ree, -zuh-] /ɪˈlu sə ri, -zə-/.
Origin of elusive
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordstricky, ambiguous, volatile, fleeting, puzzling, illusory, slippery, subtle, incomprehensible, baffling, cagey, deceitful, deceptive, equivocal, evanescent, fallacious, fraudulent, fugitive, greasy, insubstantial
Examples from the Web for elusive
Huckabee will also need to establish a reliable fundraising base, something that up until now has proved to be elusive.Can Huckabee Convert the GOP’s Moneymen?
January 4, 2015
As far as finally being acknowledged herself with that elusive Academy gold, well, Moore says she would not take it for granted.Julianne Moore Is Oscar Gold in ‘Still Alice’
December 24, 2014
There will be a lot of talk about “sustainable” development, but so far that has been elusive.Goodbye, Bahamas. Hello, Havana!
December 18, 2014
But the deliverance and liberation that has been longed for by Jews and Christians has proven to be an elusive thing.During Advent, Lots of Waiting, But Not Enough Hope
December 7, 2014
They are an elusive bunch, in motion or in the thrall of another time.The Real-Life Raiders of the Lost Ark
November 14, 2014
Who among them could recognise the unknown, elusive bandit, Fantômas?A Nest of Spies
His only diversion was fishing for the elusive rainbow trout.
The sound of knocking had been faint, elusive, reflected Byrne.Within the Tides
But even to his acute sense of hearing the sound was too elusive.Under Western Eyes
Sam was volatile and elusive; his industry of an erratic kind.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
- difficult to catchan elusive thief
- preferring or living in solitude and anonymity
- difficult to rememberan elusive thought
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 elusive
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper