Definition of elude in English:



[with object]
  • 1Escape from or avoid (a danger, enemy, or pursuer), typically in a skilful or cunning way.

    ‘he tried to elude the security men by sneaking through a back door’
    • ‘It is Meredith who unwittingly brings Tom Ripley crashing to earth when it seems that he has eluded danger and gotten away without punishment for his dark deeds.’
    • ‘Drug mules, long agreed by all as the real carriers of weapons of mass destruction, routinely elude the army, security guards and high-tech scanners.’
    • ‘Physical strength is useless without not only a purpose, but also agility and lightening speed in order to elude enemies.’
    • ‘Miraculously, the group of 15 Indians managed to elude the dragnet that was forming and escaped with the aid of local residents.’
    • ‘For the next ten days, sometimes literally slipping through the fingers of the army that pursued him, Cortez eluded his captors.’
    • ‘White-skinned and English-speaking, she manages to elude the fate of other illegal arrivals to our shores.’
    • ‘He looked up the slope behind him, certain to have eluded his enemy, not having left a single track in the snow.’
    • ‘Even if he did manage to elude all of the security systems, finding Jordan would be like looking for a particularly small needle in an unusually large haystack.’
    • ‘Afghan members of AQT may be familiar with the countless unmapped paths that enabled the anti-Soviet guerrillas to elude their enemies.’
    • ‘To do that, the man who survived the wrath of the Chancellor must now elude the pitfalls set by the students of Edinburgh, and his own eloquent pen.’
    • ‘Most of the party's leading members who have so far managed to elude arrest are either in hiding in Nepal or have escaped to neighboring India.’
    • ‘The most important thing to do now was to second guess their pursuers and elude capture.’
    • ‘These fey are also particularly good at eluding their enemies, making them extremely difficult to find.’
    • ‘These were the exact feelings of Joseph Smith who quickly eluded his pursuers.’
    • ‘The gang have managed to elude pursuit by the garda helicopter by escaping through the roads around Dublin Airport where there is a no-fly zone, a Garda source said.’
    • ‘He, however, managed to elude them, as he was a master of disguise, and almost everywhere he went he had supporters who hid him.’
    • ‘Padilla should not be exempt from detention simply because he managed to elude capture and make his way to this country.’
    • ‘In early runs of the game, Riper was asked to play the enemy and attempt to elude the U.S. planners.’
    • ‘Following him as he assumes Greenleaf's personality and attempts to elude his pursuers after the murder is a riveting yet slightly chilly exercise.’
    • ‘The quarry twisted, turned and doubled back at speed in an attempt to elude its pursuer.’
    evade, avoid, get away from, dodge, flee, escape, escape from, run from, run away from
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Avoid compliance with (a law or penalty)
      ‘we need to ensure that bad cases do not elude tough penalties’
      • ‘Obviously the first conception can breed bureaucrats who are adept at figuring out ways to elude the law (it also explains Italian drivers).’
  • 2(of an achievement or something desired) fail to be attained by (someone)

    ‘sleep still eluded her’
    • ‘While ultimately victory eluded the local side it should in no way deter the players and their coach Michael Carew in seeking to go all the way next year.’
    • ‘But All-Ireland success eluded him on both occasions.’
    • ‘It is another of those nights when sleep eludes me and I am restless both mentally and physically.’
    • ‘Oftentimes, achieving a major goal eludes us because we want to make huge leaps from reality to the dream without making our lives congruent with the main goal we set for ourselves.’
    • ‘Somehow popular success has eluded him, but his recent live performance CD Courier should have brought him prominently into the spotlight.’
    • ‘That probably meant that sleep had eluded her as well.’
    • ‘There again he assumed an easy victory and had no back-up plan when success eluded him.’
    • ‘Thereafter, my conscience is so laden with guilt that sleep continues to elude me for a further six weeks.’
    • ‘Yet four years into the second Chechen war, victory still eludes Russia, and there are signs that the upheaval is spilling into Ingushetia and Dagestan.’
    • ‘The outstanding grades that Jill Gamble easily achieved in high school eluded her during her first semester at Ohio State University.’
    • ‘One achievement which continues to elude James is a steady girlfriend.’
    • ‘Desire lingers even if that which we desire forever eludes us, forever remains beyond embodiment.’
    • ‘There are those people who feel that success may elude them if they do come out.’
    • ‘He then tackled the Caledonians, victory narrowly eluding him in the sixth season but being won at a great battle late in the seventh, mons Graupius, probably September 83.’
    • ‘In that briefest of brief moments victory had eluded Mount Sion.’
    • ‘Maybe in death Wellstone will be able to achieve what eluded him in life.’
    • ‘While success eluded him this time, Paddy looks forward to competing in the track and field championships in Tullamore in the summer.’
    • ‘It is said that a greater achievement eluded him.’
    • ‘If victory eludes them then they will have to rely on Old Crossleyans beating Old Brodlieans.’
    • ‘In the end, if some of Smith's ambitions elude him, it is perhaps because they are so grand.’
    1. 2.1 (of an idea or fact) fail to be understood or remembered by (someone)
      ‘the logic of this eluded most people’
      • ‘This fact eludes numerous media members who have been attracted to Napster's deals with Penn State and the University of Rochester.’
      • ‘It's almost recognizable, but understanding of it eludes me.’
      • ‘Nick practically bounded ahead of me, the concept of pace eluding him.’
      • ‘Why did these ideas elude our great genius Muslim scholars of earlier times?’
      • ‘Opening anything out in the middle of nowhere is not a smart way to insure a steady income, a fact that may have eluded Ray when he opened the store but is certainly now well aware of.’
      • ‘While the solution to this mystery eludes us, the facts are evident, and we would be wise to adapt to them.’
      • ‘How has such a simple fact eluded scientists and mystics alike for so many millennia?’
      • ‘This aspect of the opinion has eluded scholars, who focus on its partisan and racist character.’
      • ‘However, one important fact has eluded you: If you take this job, how much will you be paid?’
      • ‘Some of the more technical details eluded him, but he understood most of what his companions were saying.’
      • ‘This fact, which had eluded historians, was recorded on the back of the photograph.’
      • ‘The plan, whose details elude me at the moment, had a lot to do with the improvised use of a sewing kit by a crack team of ninja assassins.’
      • ‘This fact sometimes eludes the people writing about it.’
      • ‘Love is a concept that seems to elude music critics everywhere.’
      • ‘Let me point out to the member a little fact that may have eluded him, because he is so tied up in the Labour spin machine.’
      • ‘We now have a transparent reimbursement system that gushes forth so much information that genuine understanding often still eludes us.’
      • ‘For some strange reason, which eluded Adam's understanding, he was enjoying this.’
      • ‘I tried to explain that he could just look at the scoreboard, but after about the third time I realized that concept still eluded the tyke.’
      • ‘The details of each turtle elude me, but one in particular stands out in my mind.’
      • ‘Okay, cheap shot, but Dickson carries such an air of efficiency that you can't believe she would let these details elude her.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘delude, baffle’): from Latin eludere, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out, away from’ + ludere ‘to play’.