Definition of allusion in English:

allusion

noun

  • 1An expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

    ‘an allusion to Shakespeare’
    ‘a classical allusion’
    • ‘The recording was full of contemporary and historical allusions, as is the training manual.’
    • ‘He makes allusions to poetry, classical music and protest culture.’
    • ‘The classical allusions everywhere at work in Versailles would require an educated audience to appreciate them.’
    • ‘We are a people of messages and signals, of allusions and indirect expression.’
    • ‘While I can often see these allusions in classical music now, at the time I must confess to being completely nonplussed.’
    • ‘This is a new collection which gives background information for over 20,000 phrases and allusions in English.’
    • ‘None of Arrino's vague references or allusions had prepared me for what she was saying.’
    • ‘Now these antique allusions add a rarified, elegant seasoning to the work.’
    • ‘Stuffed with obscure allusions and historical minutia, his novels are not the type you take to the beach.’
    • ‘Neither the handiwork nor the Classical allusions are readily apparent in her new paintings.’
    • ‘JK Rowling is herself a one-time classics student, and her books are littered with classical allusions.’
    • ‘This paper focuses on references and allusions to the Prophet in this treatise.’
    • ‘It was difficult to avoid getting caught up explicating all the biblical allusions in the alphabet.’
    • ‘The infancy stories in Matthew contain quotations and more indirect allusions to the Moses birth story.’
    • ‘It is the allusions and references that lend charm to this art form.’
    • ‘It's interesting to see how many references or allusions to these festivals remain in contemporary Britain.’
    • ‘In places, the allusions to the entire pantheon of comic-book superheroes is overwhelming.’
    • ‘The allusions to a few recent works of sympathetic labor history in this piece are a genuine consolation.’
    • ‘His portraits already included classical allusions which gained him many patrons among the grand tourist gentry.’
    • ‘Those who were too young to follow the mythical allusions simply enjoyed the whimsical visuals and infectious music.’
    reference to, mention of, comment on, remark about, citation of, quotation of, hint at, intimation of, suggestion of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The practice of making allusions.
      ‘the use of allusion’
      • ‘It's an impressive, haunting work full of menace and obvious political allusion.’
      • ‘To be damned by a professional wordsmith, sneered at by a master of metaphor and allusion, well, it was beyond endurance.’
      • ‘There's nothing wrong with allusion, or indeed, literary theft.’
      • ‘Even if, like me, you tend to put the most personal details of your thoughts through a fine mesh of allusion and obfuscation, you're still putting your life online.’
      • ‘But any meaning could be expressed, so that the language brought into play whole new principles of allusion and definition.’
      • ‘Such Biblical allusion was in stark contrast to the welter of less printable comments being bellowed by the faithful.’
      • ‘Citation and allusion have a long and continuing history as literary practices, yet they are difficult to distinguish from theft.’
      • ‘The sentimental in these poems is continually voiced by others, written through allusion, or deflated by a turn towards light verse.’
      • ‘It seems to me that your observations about the need to use imagery, metaphor and allusion correctly are well taken.’
      • ‘There are many excellent moments of historical allusion, acting and scriptwriting.’
      • ‘The stanza is written like the formulaic examples of wit and allusion in old-fashioned riddle books.’
      • ‘We need the connections formed by allusion; we understand the new in light of the old, and so our language links us to older traditions.’
      • ‘This is a rare instance of direct personal allusion by Sep, wherein he discusses the role of poetry as devotion.’
      • ‘Ben-Porat provides an analysis of allusion as a literary technique.’
      • ‘Well, do you think an invasion of a country should be based on allusion and assertion?’
      • ‘With its emphasis on personification and topical allusion, allegory has a long association with political discourse.’
      • ‘For the trained symbologist, watching an early Disney movie was like being barraged by an avalanche of allusion and metaphor.’
      • ‘A cultural world in which allusion is defined as theft seems an awfully impoverished one.’
      • ‘It is to these factors, as much as to studies and use by scholars and writers, that the widespread survival of biblical usage and allusion can be attributed.’
      • ‘I'm making the really clear case that I know the difference between evidence and what is allusion and assertion and the rest.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (denoting a pun, metaphor, or parable): from French, or from late Latin allusio(n-), from the verb alludere (see allude).

Pronunciation

allusion

/əˈluːʒ(ə)n/