Allude or Elude?

by Craig Shrives

The Difference between "Allude" and "Elude"

"Allude" and "elude" are easy to confuse because they sound similar.
  • "Allude" means to refer to indirectly. For example:
    • The CEO will allude to your contribution during her speech.
  • "Elude" means to avoid or to evade. For example:
    • You must elude the dogs to have a chance of escaping.

Ready for the Test?

Allude

"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.)

Elude

"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.")
allude or elude difference

Top Tip

Elude Means Escape. Remember the meaning of elude by remembering that it starts with the same letter as escape.
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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? bear or bare (witness, the brunt, fruit)? who's or whose? What are verbs? List of easily confused words

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