CS Sealey

New Zealand-based sub-editor, writer and author

The difference between allude, elude and illude

I don’t come across these words too often in my life, to be honest, but they do like getting each other mixed up from time to time. Let’s unscramble them a bit.

allude (verb)—to suggest, refer to casually or mention briefly

Mrs Bates alluded to the fact that her husband had been set up.

As he spoke, the judge alluded to the main points of the case.

elude (verb)—avoid or escape something or someone

He tip-toed his way through the shadows and eluded the guards by the gate.

After an hour of flying, the Snitch still eluded Harry.

illude (verb)—to delude or trick something or someone

A hallucination is an example of the brain illuding an individual.

In his ignorance, John had allowed the man to illude him into a false sense of security.

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