a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication: The novel's title is an allusion to Shakespeare.
the act or practice of making a casual or indirect reference to something; the act of alluding: The Bible is a fertile source of allusion in art.
Obsolete. a metaphor; parable.

1540–50; < Late Latin allūsiōn- (stem of allūsiō), equivalent to allūs(us), past participle of allūdere (see allude; al- al- + lūd- play + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion

preallusion, noun

1. allusion, reference ; 2. allusion, delusion, elusion, hallucination, illusion (see synonym study at illusion). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
allusion (əˈluːʒən)
1.  the act of alluding
2.  a passing reference; oblique or obscure mention
[C16: from Late Latin allūsiō, from Latin allūdere to sport with, allude]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1540s, from L. allusionem (nom. allusio) "a playing with, a reference to," from allus-, 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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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