allude and elude - the difference
Allude means to refer to indirectly.
Elude means to avoid or to evade.

Allude and Elude

The verbs allude and elude sound very similar, and this is why they are sometimes confused.


To allude means to refer to indirectly. The verbs to allude and to mention are close in meaning, but to allude is less direct. It can be translated as to hint at or to offer an indication about.

  • This Chinese saying alludes to nature's power: "A spark can start a fire that burns the entire prairie."
  • (The saying does not mention nature's power, but it offers a clue about nature's power. The saying alludes to nature's power.)
  • "Forewarned is forearmed" alludes to the importance of being in control.
  • (offers an indication about the importance of being in control)

  • The judge did not mention his previous crimes specifically, but he alluded to them in his summary.
  • (hinted at previous crimes)


To elude means to avoid, to evade, or to escape from.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid try to elude capture.
  • (try to avoid capture)
  • Peter Beardsley used to allude defenders with his trademark foot shuffle.
  • (avoid defenders / should be elude)
Select the correct version:


The word elude starts with the same letter as escape. This may help you remember its meaning.

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