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

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

/əˈluʒən//əˈlo͞oZHən/