Allude or Elude?

by Craig Shrives

What Is 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. correct tick
  • "Elude" means to avoid or to evade. For example:
    • You must elude the dogs to have a chance of escaping. correct tick


"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." correct tick
  • (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. correct tick
  • (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. correct tick
  • (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. correct tick
  • (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. correct tick (Author Anna Quindlen)
  • Peter Beardsley used to allude defenders with his trademark foot shuffle. wrong cross
  • (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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