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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This paper focuses on references and allusions to the Prophet in this treatise.’
    • ‘The classical allusions everywhere at work in Versailles would require an educated audience to appreciate them.’
    • ‘This is a new collection which gives background information for over 20,000 phrases and allusions in English.’
    • ‘Neither the handiwork nor the Classical allusions are readily apparent in her new paintings.’
    • ‘It was difficult to avoid getting caught up explicating all the biblical allusions in the alphabet.’
    • ‘He makes allusions to poetry, classical music and protest culture.’
    • ‘Now these antique allusions add a rarified, elegant seasoning to the work.’
    • ‘It's interesting to see how many references or allusions to these festivals remain in contemporary Britain.’
    • ‘None of Arrino's vague references or allusions had prepared me for what she was saying.’
    • ‘In places, the allusions to the entire pantheon of comic-book superheroes is overwhelming.’
    • ‘It is the allusions and references that lend charm to this art form.’
    • ‘JK Rowling is herself a one-time classics student, and her books are littered with classical allusions.’
    • ‘While I can often see these allusions in classical music now, at the time I must confess to being completely nonplussed.’
    • ‘The infancy stories in Matthew contain quotations and more indirect allusions to the Moses birth story.’
    • ‘We are a people of messages and signals, of allusions and indirect expression.’
    • ‘The allusions to a few recent works of sympathetic labor history in this piece are a genuine consolation.’
    • ‘Stuffed with obscure allusions and historical minutia, his novels are not the type you take to the beach.’
    • ‘The recording was full of contemporary and historical allusions, as is the training manual.’
    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.
      • ‘With its emphasis on personification and topical allusion, allegory has a long association with political discourse.’
      • ‘Ben-Porat provides an analysis of allusion as a literary technique.’
      • ‘Citation and allusion have a long and continuing history as literary practices, yet they are difficult to distinguish from theft.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To be damned by a professional wordsmith, sneered at by a master of metaphor and allusion, well, it was beyond endurance.’
      • ‘There are many excellent moments of historical allusion, acting and scriptwriting.’
      • ‘It seems to me that your observations about the need to use imagery, metaphor and allusion correctly are well taken.’
      • ‘I'm making the really clear case that I know the difference between evidence and what is allusion and assertion and the rest.’
      • ‘This is a rare instance of direct personal allusion by Sep, wherein he discusses the role of poetry as devotion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's nothing wrong with allusion, or indeed, literary theft.’
      • ‘Well, do you think an invasion of a country should be based on allusion and assertion?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The stanza is written like the formulaic examples of wit and allusion in old-fashioned riddle books.’
      • ‘The sentimental in these poems is continually voiced by others, written through allusion, or deflated by a turn towards light verse.’
      • ‘For the trained symbologist, watching an early Disney movie was like being barraged by an avalanche of allusion and metaphor.’

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

/əˈlo͞oZHən//əˈluʒən/