Definitions for elusiveɪˈlu sɪv; -sə ri, -zə-

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word elusive

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

e•lu•siveɪˈlu sɪv; -sə ri, -zə-(adj.)

also e•lu•so•ry

  1. eluding one's clear perception; hard to express or define.

  2. skillfully evasive.

Origin of elusive:

1710–20; elus (ion ) + -ive


Princeton's WordNet

  1. elusive(adj)

    difficult to describe

    "a haunting elusive odor"

  2. elusive(adj)

    skillful at eluding capture

    "a cabal of conspirators, each more elusive than the archterrorist"- David Kline

  3. elusive, subtle(adj)

    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze

    "his whole attitude had undergone a subtle change"; "a subtle difference"; "that elusive thing the soul"

  4. baffling, elusive, knotty, problematic, problematical, tough(adj)

    making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe

    "a baffling problem"; "I faced the knotty problem of what to have for breakfast"; "a problematic situation at home"


  1. elusive(Adjective)

    evading capture, comprehension or remembrance

    The elusive criminal was arrested

  2. elusive(Adjective)

    rarely seen

  3. elusive(Adjective)

    difficult to describe

    A precise definition of diarrhea is elusive (Robbin's pathology, 8th ed)

  4. Origin: From elusus past participle of eludo

Webster Dictionary

  1. Elusive(adj)

    tending to elude; using arts or deception to escape; adroitly escaping or evading; eluding the grasp; fallacious

Translations for elusive

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


escaping or vanishing, often or cleverly

an elusive criminal.

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