from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Containing or characterized by indirect references: an allusive speech.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Containing or making use of indirect references or hints.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Figurative; symbolical.
  • adj. Having reference to something not fully expressed; containing an allusion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Punning.
  • Metaphorical.
  • Having reference to something not fully expressed; containing, full of, or characterized by allusions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by indirect references


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A Cloudy and rainy Day, staid at home; spent the day Writing, Reading and Chatting -- I think it observable that our Language is more and more sliding into modes of expression allusive and allegorical, approximating to the eastern stile -- Professional Men, Lawyers, Seamen, Soldiers

    Journal of a Tour to North Carolina by William Attmore, 1787

  • The second species of accommodation, called allusive, is often a mere play on words and at times seems due to a misunderstanding of the original meaning.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • He's in a Gotham City (the very name allusive of the word gothic, if not outright derived from it) graveyard, in fact, at the grave of Batman, the mainstream superhero of the DC universe most easily associated with horror--from the very concept of his character and its association with vampires (an association made literal in comics from Red Rain to Nosferatu), it's hardly an accident that he's the superhero who appeared in Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's macabre early issues of Swamp Thing.

    Archive 2009-08-02

  • Jarmusch is the director who puts the loose in "allusive" and the lipstick in "elliptical"; I fully recognize his movies aren't to everybody's taste.

    News & Politics

  • DreamWorks, in particular, has made the kind of allusive, parodic cultural self-consciousness that used to be called postmodernism safe for the whole family.

    NYT > Home Page

  • 'prays in aid of similes,' -- that this is a specimen of what he calls elsewhere 'allusive' writing.

    The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded

  • While Mr. Eliot's early poems, most notably "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915), had brought him considerable attention in literary circles, it was "The Waste Land" (1922), a fragmentary and highly allusive verse epic, that gave him his central position in British and American poetry.

    Where Time and the Timeless Intersect

  • Time is simultaneously the star and an extra, protagonist and antagonist, the crescendo and the anti-climax, the narrative and an abstraction, the subject and the subtext - it's tangible and yet allusive.

    Rebecca Taylor: Christian Marclay Conquers Time

  • You can't hide behind an elaborate form or allusive obscurity.

    Brian Hall - An interview with author

  • In the "name game," being allusive can be a powerful attribute.

    Tom Grasty: 3 Keys to Naming Your Product


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