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allude, elude

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips

Allude means “to refer to something indirectly or covertly” without actually naming it. The confusion here might come from the fact that elude means “to evade or escape.” They both can imply an element of intrigue.

Allude is commonly used in the context of communication (usually writing or speaking).

Elude is generally a physical activity although it also means “to escape one’s understanding or grasp.” It is fine to say that a thought or idea eludes you, but it’s also correct to say that a burglar did.

Example: She gained a lot of credibility with me when she alluded to her father’s imprisonment. For years, he had eluded the authorities.

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