Elude means "evade or escape," like the way you might elude the other kids during a game of hide-and-seek. This word can also mean "to be hard to understand." No matter how hard you try, the finer points of quantum physics might elude you.

Elude has a slippery feeling to it. You elude the police, math can elude you — and that yak you went to see on safari but never got a glimpse of, you might say that he has eluded you as well. Delude means "to deceive," and there are times when someone can both delude and elude you — like when the conman took your money and then escaped out the back door.

Definitions of elude
  1. verb
    escape, either physically or mentally
    “The thief eluded the police”
    synonyms: bilk, evade
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    type of:
    break loose, escape, get away
    run away from confinement
  2. verb
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
    synonyms: circumvent, dodge, duck, evade, fudge, hedge, parry, put off, sidestep, skirt
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    beg, beg the question
    dodge, avoid answering, or take for granted
    evade the truth of a point or question by raising irrelevant objections
    type of:
    stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something
  3. verb
    be incomprehensible to; escape understanding by
    “What you are seeing in him eludes me”
    synonyms: escape
    see moresee less
    defy, refuse, resist
    elude, especially in a baffling way
    be beyond the resources of
    type of:
    amaze, baffle, beat, bewilder, dumbfound, flummox, get, gravel, mystify, nonplus, perplex, pose, puzzle, stick, stupefy, vex
    be a mystery or bewildering to
Commonly confused words

allude / elude

Allude is coy, to allude is to refer to something in an indirect manner. But elude's favorite thing to do is hide from the cops; it means "to evade." Because the accent is on the second syllable in both words, it's easy to get them mixed up.

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