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allusion

[uh-loo-zhuh n] /əˈlu ʒən/
noun
1.
a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication:
The novel's title is an allusion to Shakespeare.
2.
the act of alluding; the making of a casual or indirect reference to something:
The Bible is a fertile source of allusion in art.
3.
Obsolete. a metaphor or parable.
Origin of allusion
1540-1550
1540-50; < Late Latin allūsiōn- (stem of allūsiō), equivalent to allūs(us), past participle of allūdere (see allude; al- + lūd- play + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
preallusion, noun
Can be confused
allusion, reference.
allusion, delusion, elusion, hallucination, illusion (see synonym study at illusion)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for allusion

allusion

/əˈluːʒən/
noun
1.
the act of alluding
2.
a passing reference; oblique or obscure mention
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin allūsiō, from Latin allūdere to sport with, allude
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 allusion
n.

1540s, from Latin allusionem (nominative allusio) "a playing with, a reference to," noun of action from past participle stem of alludere (see allude). An allusion is never an outright or explicit mention of the person or thing the speaker seems to have in mind.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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allusion in Culture

allusion definition


An indirect reference to some piece of knowledge not actually mentioned. Allusions usually come from a body of information that the author presumes the reader will know. For example, an author who writes, “She was another Helen,” is alluding to the proverbial beauty of Helen of Troy.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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8
12
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