• synonyms


  1. illusory.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for illusiveness

Historical Examples

  • The illusiveness of life is the theme of moralists when they preach resignation.

    The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

    Thomas Charles Edwards

  • It is not enough, then, that you dissipate the charm by your moral and eloquent and affecting exposure of its illusiveness.

  • The materialistic philosophy to which she gave utterance was spiritualized by her own illusiveness.

  • Lessons of self-purification and communion, by which the illusiveness of externals and the value of internals are understood.

  • Their daring and illusiveness kept the American and Mexican troops constantly in action.

    The Career of Leonard Wood

    Joseph Hamblen Sears

Word Origin and History for illusiveness



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper