elusive

Things that are elusive are hard to find, pin down, or remember. They slip right out of your grasp.

Ever try to catch a mouse? It's not easy, because mice are quick and elusive — they're tough to catch. Rabbits are speedy, so they're elusive too. Also, things that are tough to understand or describe are elusive — like the concepts of love and beauty. If you had an idea and then forgot it, the idea is elusive: it slipped away. Anything you can't get hold of, with your hands or with your brain, is elusive.

Primary Meanings of elusive

1.
adj
skillful at eluding capture
2.
adj
difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
3.
adj
making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe
Full Definitions of elusive
1

adj skillful at eluding capture

“"a cabal of conspirators, each more elusive than the archterrorist"- David Kline”
Synonyms:
artful
marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft
2

adj difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze

“that elusive thing the soul”
Synonyms:
subtle
impalpable
imperceptible to the senses or the mind

adj difficult to describe

“a haunting elusive odor”
Synonyms:
unidentifiable
impossible to identify
3

adj making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe

Synonyms:
baffling, knotty, problematic, problematical, tough
difficult, hard
not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure