Allude or Elude?

What Is the Difference between "Allude" and "Elude"?

homeconfused wordsAllude or Elude?
the quick answer

The Quick Answer

Allude means to refer to indirectly.
Elude means to avoid or to evade.

Allude and Elude

The verbs allude and elude sound very similar, and this is why they are sometimes confused.


To allude means to refer to indirectly. The verbs to allude and to mention are close in meaning, but to allude is less direct. It can be translated as to hint at or to offer an indication about.

  • This Chinese saying alludes to nature's power: "A spark can start a fire that burns the entire prairie."
  • (The saying does not mention nature's power, but it offers a clue about nature's power. The saying alludes to nature's power.)
  • "Forewarned is forearmed" alludes to the importance of being in control.
  • (offers an indication about the importance of being in control)

  • The judge did not mention his previous crimes specifically, but he alluded to them in his summary.
  • (hinted at previous crimes)


To elude means to avoid, to evade, or to escape from.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid try to elude capture.
  • (try to avoid capture)
  • Peter Beardsley used to allude defenders with his trademark foot shuffle.
  • (avoid defenders / should be elude)

A Quick Test

hot grammar tip

Hot Tip

Elude Means Escape

Remember the meaning of elude by remembering that it starts with the same letter as escape.

Help Us To Improve English Grammar Lessons
  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?
Please tell us using this form.
Do you know your English idioms? idioms test

Take Our Test.

search icon

Search our idioms database. (We have 10,000+ idioms!)