Third Wednesday – Alluded vs. Eluded

Here’s the way the sentence read in a major news report:

“She admitted the concept of using social media in marketing alluded her.”

Yikes!  I’d been reading fast, but my attention snapped back to the error.


ALLUDE – To refer to a person, place, thing, event, etc., indirectly.

The important word in the definition above is “indirectly.”  This means you can’t allude to someone if you use their name.  If you’ve identified the person, place, thing, or event, there is nothing indirect about your statement.

Helen’s comment about black sheep alluded to the family member whose name was never spoken once he was sentenced to prison for murder.

I alluded to one of my favorite writers when I told my friend about meeting the author of the Rizzoli and Isles series.

She never alluded to the ex-husband she preferred to forget.

Notice that “allude” is usually followed by the word “to.”


ELUDE –escape, evade, avoid detection – physically or mentally.

The drunken sailor eluded the shore patrol by ducking behind the dumpster in the alley.

If you want to elude the quarterback, you have to be nimble, fast, and motivated.

Moments before she was fired, in an attempt to elude her grabby boss, Alma knocked his treasured starship model off the corner of his desk.


Here’s another look at ALLUDE and ELUDE.


Hortense alluded the green villain as she swung from the decorative swag on the Christmas tree.

Herman eluded to Casablanca when he told his sweetheart they would always have Paris.



Must you allude to my past mistakes every time I try something new?

Martin is cunning enough to find the resources necessary to elude his creditors for another day.

And in a nod to the mental aspect of elusion, we’ll go back to our original sentence and substitute the correct word.

“She admitted the concept of using social media in marketing eluded her.”


Don’t pass up the opportunity to use these words just because I alluded to our past mistakes.  Understand them, claim them, and use them!