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Definition of "elusive" []

  • Tending to elude capture, perception, comprehension, or memory: "an invisible cabal of conspirators, each more elusive than the archterrorist [himself]” ( David Kline). (adjective)
  • Difficult to define or describe: "Failures are more finely etched in our minds than triumphs, and success is an elusive, if not mythic, goal in our demanding society” ( Hugh Drummond). (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "elusive" in a sentence
  • "Bringing the discussion up to date, Orr finds that Jorie Graham, Geoffrey Hill, and Derek Walcott today are considered the epitome of ambition, while the quieter Kay Ryan finds the label elusive."
  • "He argued that unraveling these links is “devilishly” complex and thus “the connections between geology and wine will remain elusive for some time to come.”"
  • "Wickremesinghe was willing to forgo his long-term elusive presidential aspirations to former army commander Sarath Fonseka, whose entrance into politics was just as sudden and surprising as the ending of the war in which he played a significant role."