Allude or Elude?

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Allude or Elude?

What is the difference between "allude" and "elude"?
  • "Allude" means "to refer to indirectly."
  • "Elude" means "to avoid" or "to evade."
allude or elude difference


"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."

Here are some examples of "allude" in sentences:
  • 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.
  • (It 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.
  • (The judge hinted at previous crimes.)


"To elude" means "to avoid," "to evade," or "to escape from."

Here are some examples of "elude" in sentences:
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid try to elude capture.
  • (They try to avoid capture.)
  • If you want something, it will elude you. If you do not want something, you will get ten of it in the mail. (Author Anna Quindlen)
  • Peter Beardsley used to allude defenders with his trademark foot shuffle.
  • (He used to avoid defenders. This should be "elude defenders.")
Top Tip

Elude Means Escape

Remember the meaning of elude by remembering that it starts with the same letter as escape.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are verbs? List of easily confused words