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[uh-loo-siv] /əˈlu sɪv/
having reference to something implied or inferred; containing, abounding in, or characterized by allusions.
Obsolete. metaphorical; symbolic; figurative.
Origin of allusive
1595-1605; allus(ion) + -ive
Related forms
allusively, adverb
allusiveness, noun
unallusive, adjective
unallusively, adverb
unallusiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for allusive
  • The work's allusive meanings come not from individual pictures, but from the carefully sequenced whole.
  • And his performance of two amusingly allusive overtures on a noisy little piano may be the best acting in the show.
  • The erudition is almost as extraordinary as the prose: dense, knowing, allusive.
  • Here is a work that must be seen precisely because it succeeds in looking allusive and not derivative.
  • Its seductive and allusive logic begins with the author's childhood recollections.
  • Had the tape not been running, our food-allusive slang for big shot might still be limited to big cheese.
  • His writing is spare and allusive, wry and grave, direct and poetic.
  • He has continued to write in a densely allusive, high-Modernist style, which makes few concessions to the reader.
British Dictionary definitions for allusive


containing or full of allusions
Derived Forms
allusively, adverb
allusiveness, 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 allusive

c.1600, from Latin allus-, past participle stem of alludere (see allude) + -ive. Related: Allusively; allusiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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