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See more synonyms for evasive on Thesaurus.com
  1. tending or seeking to evade; characterized by evasion: an evasive answer.
  2. elusive or evanescent.
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Origin of evasive

First recorded in 1715–25; evas(ion) + -ive
Related formse·va·sive·ly, adverbe·va·sive·ness, nounnon·e·va·sive, adjectivenon·e·va·sive·ly, adverbnon·e·va·sive·ness, nounun·e·va·sive, adjectiveun·e·va·sive·ly, adverbun·e·va·sive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for evasive

ambiguous, unclear, deceptive, misleading, cagey, vague, false, cunning, devious, elusive, fugitive, greasy, indirect, intangible, lying, oblique, shifty, slippery, sly, casuistic

Examples from the Web for evasive

Contemporary Examples of evasive

Historical Examples of evasive

  • Even Aunt Clara noticed it, and had to be put off with evasive reasons.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • Mrs. Barnes' answer was evasive and Georgie noticed the evasion.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The soldier made some evasive response to this raillery and then became silent.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • I tried to approach him concerning it, but he was evasive, and put me off, laughingly.

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

  • For days his eyes had been furtive and evasive, but now at last they were steady.

    Hidden Water

    Dane Coolidge

British Dictionary definitions for evasive


  1. tending or seeking to evade; avoiding the issue; not straightforward
  2. avoiding or seeking to avoid trouble or difficultiesto take evasive action
  3. hard to catch or obtain; elusive
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Derived Formsevasively, adverbevasiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for evasive


1725, from French évasif, from Latin evas-, past participle stem of evadere (see evasion). Related: Evasively; evasiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper