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[ih-loo-siv] /ɪˈlu sɪv/
Origin of illusive
1670-80; illus(ory) + -ive
Related forms
illusively, adverb
illusiveness, noun
nonillusive, adjective
nonillusively, adverb
nonillusiveness, noun
unillusive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for illusive
  • The labs themselves are dealing more with the illusive future than the illustrious past, though.
  • Thus, time and space is both traversed instantaneously as the illusive tachyon particle.
  • Normalcy, peace, and well being are illusive for many.
  • The concept is simple, yet true confidence can be so illusive.
  • The artist, himself, is almost as illusive and complicated as his art.
  • Steadily, however, producer and dramatist have worked together to make the stage as illusive as possible.
  • But the killer applications for personal robots remain as illusive as ever.
  • Think, people are so illusive that they can believe anything is happening to them.
  • Public perception of adults with developmental disabilities realizing learning gains often remains illusive.
  • The illusive search for alternative crops and value-added programs to bolster net farm income continues unabated.
British Dictionary definitions for illusive


producing, produced by, or based on illusion; deceptive or unreal
Derived Forms
illusorily, illusively, adverb
illusoriness, illusiveness, noun
Usage note
Illusive is sometimes wrongly used where elusive is meant: they fought hard, but victory remained elusive (not illusive)
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 illusive

"deceptive, illusory," formed in English 1670s, from stem of illusion + -ive; cf. also illusory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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