elusive

[ih-loo-siv]
adjective
1.
eluding clear perception or complete mental grasp; hard to express or define: an elusive concept.
2.
cleverly or skillfully evasive: a fish too elusive to catch.
Also, elusory [ih-loo-suh-ree, -zuh-] .


Origin:
1710–20; elus(ion) + -ive

elusively, adverb
elusiveness, noun
nonelusive, adjective
nonelusively, adverb
nonelusiveness, noun
unelusive, adjective
unelusively, adverb
unelusiveness, noun
unelusory, adjective

elusive, illusory.


2. tricky, slippery, shifty; puzzling, baffling.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
elusive (ɪˈluːsɪv)
 
adj
1.  difficult to catch: an elusive thief
2.  preferring or living in solitude and anonymity
3.  difficult to remember: an elusive thought
 
 
e'lusively
 
adv
 
e'lusiveness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

elusive
1719, from L. elus-, pp. stem of eludere (see elude) + -ive. Related: Elusiveness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He was inspired by the idea that movies could be so mysterious, elusive, and
  unpredictable.
Finding the elusive online job.
We have finally caught up to our elusive prey.
The paintings are by turns austere and voluptuous, evocative and elusive.
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