Allusion vs. Illusion
The similar spellings and pronunciations of allusion and illusion can cause even seasoned writers to second-guess their choice of words. Today we will examine and clarify the differences between these two terms. An allusion is a reference, direct or implied, to something or someone. Allusions are often found in books, songs, TV shows, and movies. For instance, the title of Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave …
More Than Trippy: Our Favorite Viral Optical Illusions Explained
What’s not to love about optical illusions? The magical, mysterious, mind-bending visuals never cease to evoke a series of ‘“woahs” and “what the’s--.” Words usually fail to describe them. Yet, one common word that is often used is trippy, hearkening to the psychedelic days of the ‘60s and ‘70s. But, believe it or not, the first optical illusions emerged far earlier, in the 5th century B.C. They even had Aristotle bumfuzzled! From Medieval Latin, opticus means “of sight or seeing” and ludere, “to play”—thus, optical illusions are visuals that essentially “play with one’s sight.” Because these images are invested with such mysterious power, we think optical illusions are some of the coolest didactic devices known to man. They’re brilliant to look at, and they teach us to question everything. So, to honor these powerful images, we want to share with you their proper names—because, honestly, trippy only holds up in the basement. Get your brains and eyeballs ready. They will be boggled.


Origin of illusive

First recorded in 1670–80; illus(ory) + -ive
Related formsil·lu·sive·ly, adverbil·lu·sive·ness, nounnon·il·lu·sive, adjectivenon·il·lu·sive·ly, adverbnon·il·lu·sive·ness, nounun·il·lu·sive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for illusive

Contemporary Examples of illusive

Historical Examples of illusive

  • To be in love, to strive, yet not to possess—that is the poetry of love, sweet but illusive.

    The Created Legend

    Feodor Sologub

  • Deceived by his illusive standard, he has composed a poem which is perpetually fancy, and never passion.

  • But the surface of the planet yields little detail, and that little is illusive and ill-defined.

  • At planting, at plowing and at gathering, no detail was too small or too illusive to escape his eye.

    An Arkansas Planter

    Opie Percival Read

  • Miss Ophelia and the physician alone felt no encouragement from this illusive truce.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

Word Origin and History for illusive

"deceptive, illusory," formed in English 1670s, from stem of illusion + -ive; cf. also illusory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper