Definition of allude in English:



  • 1 Suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at.

    ‘she had a way of alluding to Jean but never saying her name’
    • ‘Another larger minnow, Luciosoma bleekeri, has Lao names which allude to its being found in rice paddies.’
    • ‘For instance, Georgette's name may allude to the 1918 German offensive (Operation Georgette) in Belgium.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the character of Jack Ingroff appears to allude to her ex-fiancé, who won an Oscar.’
    • ‘However the Chinese, for the past 2,000-odd years, have been expert at alluding indirectly, through historical analogies, to current political events.’
    • ‘It may be the case that ‘Gudeman of Ballangeich’ had become a general term for alluding indirectly to a Scottish king, but it is possible that Charles I and Charles Edward were seen as having more in common with James V than Stuart blood.’
    • ‘In the third part of the book Brueggemann discusses what he calls ‘Unsolicited Testimony,’ or texts which indirectly allude to the nature of Yahweh.’
    • ‘Frances did not mention her by name, but she was alluding to the cash settlement her daughter had received from him, which had caused so much bitterness.’
    • ‘These lines from ‘The Island’ form a self-indictment of poetic efficacy even as they allude to the biblical maxim that one can not live on bread alone.’
    • ‘Their names allude to the doomed Antarctic expedition led by Captain Scott, where Oates nobly sacrificed his life in a vain attempt to save Scott and his team.’
    • ‘Vampires in particular were a great excuse for Victorian writers to allude to sexuality, which they couldn't mention in any other way.’
    • ‘In Puerto Santo Tomás, one born-again fisherman adorned his shack with a biblical scene evidently intended to allude to, in idealized fashion, the stalwart men of the village.’
    • ‘The Times manages to avoid direct joke references to his name, but cunningly alludes to it.’
    • ‘In what is perhaps a desire to allude to the baton twirlers of the marching band halftime show, the staging relies too heavily on dancers with giant flowing flags and large, geometrically abstract but still twirlable props.’
    • ‘This violates the Establishment Clause, because the tablets allude to the Ten Commandments and thus endorse religion.’
    • ‘The other two pieces, now lost, are a relief sculpture and Anguished Woman in her Room at Night, which uses the reclining female form and similar spikes as those seen here to allude to mental pain.’
    • ‘This account alludes only indirectly to the Buddha's original meditative accomplishments before the awakening.’
    • ‘I alluded to it by mentioning the conservatives' lack of trust.’
    • ‘I'd never use this word in polite company, and can barely bring myself to allude to it, even very obliquely.’
    • ‘I sometimes allow rampant letterfit adjustment (uneven spacing) and excessive glyph scaling to allude to the lack of state-sponsored childcare options.’
    • ‘The accompanying booklet notes allude to the hard-won simplicity of Mansurian's language.’
    refer to, suggest, hint at, imply, mention, touch on, mention in passing, mention en passant, speak briefly of, make an allusion to, cite
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    1. 1.1Mention without discussing at length.
      ‘we will allude briefly to the main points’
      • ‘He did not mention or allude to the exhibition again.’
      • ‘The book obviously reflects the authors' expertise, with examples and appendices focusing on medicine, but it is a brave book, which mentions clinical governance and alludes to the need to develop a parallel approach in teaching.’
      • ‘Before discussing our findings in more detail, we must allude to five points that could have influenced our results.’
      • ‘The transcript of a therapy session briefly alludes to the use of relaxation to block or desensitize painful imagery during a therapeutic reliving of a traumatic event.’
      • ‘‘Some bad things happened to us; we're not going to stress on it,’ he said, briefly alluding to the fact that the company is ‘going to have to reduce structural costs’.’
      • ‘While he alludes to abstraction and discusses it in objective terms, the notion most analysed in the book is the origin and function of naturalistic, figurative art.’
      • ‘In the mid-20th century a variety of factors (which I can only briefly allude to here) converged to spark a second wave of marriage-law reform.’
      • ‘At no time during this meeting did he discuss or allude to specific violations of conduct, Lavik said.’
      • ‘One that I've already briefly alluded to, is that cinema can operate as a cogent and powerful cultural mechanism for meaning making.’
      • ‘She briefly alludes to this problem - noting that she neglected her marriage while writing the book - but fails to follow up.’
      • ‘Lying to Ella about his condition would break the promise he had made about never lying to her, but on the other hand, he had never mentioned or alluded to his ailment beforehand.’
      • ‘The problem, to which I alluded briefly earlier, is whether his emphasis on evidence can be combined with his molecular conception of understanding.’
      • ‘Two and a half weeks later, I briefly alluded to the fact that I'd not heard anything yet.’
      • ‘She does briefly allude to this complexity between the local and the national on pages 27-28, but this could have been enhanced by further explicit reasoning and additional detail.’
      • ‘That's all I can think of now, but new characters will be introduced and I will allude to them.’
      • ‘In this thread, you allude to those continuing misfortunes, and mention Seth by name (albeit in a more neutral context) in, I think, your third or fourth post.’
      • ‘For example, are the worries I mentioned here, and alluded to in the comments to another of my posts about the believability of the Party's conversion to a policy of inclusivity, to be ignored?’
      • ‘As briefly alluded to earlier, the position that snow and lemons are not colored is naturally paired with the position that they are not cold and sour either.’
      • ‘I alluded briefly to them yesterday but if you missed them you can see them here.’
      • ‘Needless to say, Palestine wasn't mentioned or even alluded to at all.’
      mention, make mention of, make reference to, allude to, touch on, speak about, speak of, talk about, talk of, write about, cite, name, comment on, deal with, go into, note, point out, call attention to, bring up, raise, broach, introduce
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    2. 1.2(of an artist or a work of art) recall (an earlier work or style) in such a way as to suggest a relationship with it.
      ‘the photographs allude to Italian Baroque painting’
      • ‘A deceivingly playful departure from his previous work is Holderfield's series of small paper animal sculptures that sprout extra heads and limbs as they indirectly allude to the inevitable mishaps of cloning.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, by evoking the Grape Society, the painter alluded to a literary ancestry.’
      • ‘The title of the latter work alludes to the astronomical notion that the area behind Orion is a kind of celestial incubator, generating uncountable new stars.’
      • ‘Often his work alludes more or less obliquely to gay experience, but it strongly rejects categorization.’
      • ‘Others have tentatively suggested that the yarnwinder may allude to the spindle of the Three Fates, and should thus be regarded as a metonymic symbol of death - a classical counterpart to the cross.’
      • ‘Her work alludes to the intellectual rigor at the root of abstract ornament and how the laws that govern such ornament offer a parallel to the laws governing nature.’
      • ‘In so doing, they suggest that the conflict to which the artist alludes in the exhibition's title is a personal struggle with his own compulsions.’
      • ‘But the artist also alludes to African cult figures like Mami Wata, a Nigerian water spirit who is often ‘embraced,’ as the artist says, by snakes.’
      • ‘Curving appendages attached to oblong shapes or to punctured spheres in some of the works may allude to other life-forms such as insects or invertebrates.’
      • ‘Yet, while all of these beadworking styles allude to the multiple identities that characterize the political landscape of the Zulu-speaking people, they also act as implicit voices of support for the king.’
      • ‘Neate's works allude to aspects of art history that critical received taste occasionally dismisses as slightly kitschy.’
      • ‘The dedicatory inscription that appears at the opening of the scroll alludes indirectly to a different historical gathering, which raises other questions about the representational nature of this painting.’
      • ‘At the same time, the artist alludes to the real world, having it out with hypocrisy and duplicity.’
      • ‘As such, the work alludes to the reciprocal nature of relationship and manages to state its case clearly without being didactic, sentimental or completely unfunny.’
      • ‘Several other works allude to the importance of family connections among artists in Rome that were made through workshops, collaborations, friendships, and marriages.’
      • ‘All of the images we have discussed thus far allude to Christian theology and the symbolism of the rite of baptism.’
      • ‘While other artists may allude to the interaction of nature and culture, he draws on both realms for his very materials, employing chlorophyll as well as acrylic paint.’
      • ‘The different styles also implicitly allude to the political power differentials that are associated with various regional identities.’
      • ‘Areas of parallel colored lines give a Minimalist flavor without alluding to a particular artist.’
      • ‘The work alludes both to the perishing physical environment and to the erosion of the communist ideal.’
      bring to mind, call to mind, put one in mind of, call up, summon up, conjure up, evoke, echo, allude to
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Late 15th century (in the sense hint at, suggest): from Latin alludere, from ad- toward + ludere to play.