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[ih-vey-siv] /ɪˈveɪ sɪv/
tending or seeking to evade; characterized by evasion:
an evasive answer.
elusive or evanescent.
Origin of evasive
1715-25; evas(ion) + -ive
Related forms
evasively, adverb
evasiveness, noun
nonevasive, adjective
nonevasively, adverb
nonevasiveness, noun
unevasive, adjective
unevasively, adverb
unevasiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for evasive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Secure in their fastness the men of Sapri sent replies, varying from the evasive to the impertinent.

    The Story of the Guides G. J. Younghusband
  • "You have made me happy, me who adore you," was the evasive reply.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • “Surely he will be here tomorrow by the latest,” was the evasive answer.

  • To wear semblances, to be ready with evasive words, how is this, Mr. Carlyle?

  • Mary Ellen's face changed; the evasive instincts of her sex rose up.

British Dictionary definitions for evasive


tending or seeking to evade; avoiding the issue; not straightforward
avoiding or seeking to avoid trouble or difficulties: to take evasive action
hard to catch or obtain; elusive
Derived Forms
evasively, adverb
evasiveness, 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 evasive

1725, from French évasif, from Latin evas-, past participle stem of evadere (see evasion). Related: Evasively; evasiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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