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elusive

[ih-loo-siv] /ɪˈlu sɪv/
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-] /ɪˈlu sə ri, -zə-/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1710-1720
1710-20; elus(ion) + -ive
Related forms
elusively, adverb
elusiveness, noun
nonelusive, adjective
nonelusively, adverb
nonelusiveness, noun
unelusive, adjective
unelusively, adverb
unelusiveness, noun
unelusory, adjective
Can be confused
elusive, illusory.
Synonyms
2. tricky, slippery, shifty; puzzling, baffling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for elusive
  • 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.
  • Human memory can be maddeningly elusive.
  • So go ahead and educate me as to its seemingly elusive advantages.
  • At boarding school, a boy falls in love with an elusive girl.
  • The formula for creative thinking is pretty elusive, but scientists have a few evidence-based clues.
  • The most basic knowledge proves elusive, often never recorded in the first place.
  • He's not as fast, but he's nearly as elusive.
British Dictionary definitions for elusive

elusive

/ɪˈluːsɪv/
adjective
1.
difficult to catch: an elusive thief
2.
preferring or living in solitude and anonymity
3.
difficult to remember: an elusive thought
Derived Forms
elusively, adverb
elusiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for elusive
adj.

1719, from Latin elus-, past participle stem of eludere (see elude) + -ive. Related: Elusiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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