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-/.
- e·lu·sive·ly, adverb
- e·lu·sive·ness, noun
- non·e·lu·sive, adjective
- non·e·lu·sive·ly, adverb
- non·e·lu·sive·ness, noun
- un·e·lu·sive, adjective
- un·e·lu·sive·ly, adverb
- un·e·lu·sive·ness, noun
- un·e·lu·so·ry, adjective
- elusive , illusory
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use elusive in a sentence
Especially as the nights grow longer and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel seems more elusive than ever, the shifting light in Echelman’s work — like a sunset that seems to slow time — rocks such existential woes to sleep.You have until Nov. 22 to visit these six Smithsonian museums. Here’s what to expect. | Kelsey Ables | November 19, 2020 | Washington Post
Take the elusive cauliflower mushroom, Sparassis, which is as rare as mushrooms come.
We need something else that we haven’t yet figured out to supplement deep learning in order to achieve some of the things like common sense or reasoning that has sort of been elusive to the AI field today.
In one field, scientists may amble through bosky glens seeking elusive, rare vegetation.In praise of serendipity — and scientific obsession | Nancy Shute | November 6, 2020 | Science News
Details about how district officials plan to handle the vacancies and turnover remained elusive to many employees, principals and families this week, reports Ashly McGlone.
Of course, the innate watchability of these socialites is matched only by their elusiveness.The Surreal Genius of Bravo’s Rich Kids Docudrama ‘NYC Prep’ | Amy Zimmerman | April 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One of the defining aspects of the uprising is its elusiveness.
The elusiveness at Obama's core, which once served him so well, has turned back on itself, arousing suspicions.
He's a clever rogue, but, like all men of his elusiveness and cunning, he never takes undue chances.The Sign of Silence | William Le Queux
So much depended upon the very elusiveness which the security of possession, habit, destroyed.Cytherea | Joseph Hergesheimer
Eyes and brows are charged with potencies; with seriousness, with modesty, serenity, elusiveness.Feminism and Sex-Extinction | Arabella Kenealy
It is an attractive plant with an elusiveness of habit which serves, perhaps, to increase its charm.How to Know the Ferns | Frances Theodora Parsons
Now, be it remembered, I am only adducing this case in illustration of the elusiveness of Weismann's theory.Darwin, and After Darwin, Volume II (of 3) | George John Romanes
British Dictionary definitions for elusive
difficult to catch: an elusive thief
preferring or living in solitude and anonymity
difficult to remember: an elusive thought
- elusively, adverb
- elusiveness, 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