Allusive vs Elusive vs Illusive – Difference and Comparison

What is Allusive?

The word Allusive originates from the Latin expression “I mock” or “I mimic”. Which means to enact something or someone. Allusive is also used with Latin prefixes as well as in adjective forms. The literal meaning of this word is to refer to anything or simply present a notion related to it. The first use of the word was documented in 1607. 

The word is used in the English Language to a great extent. This means that the chances of this word being present in a general conversation are high. The word is used for reference purposes or denoting things indirectly or in an implicit manner.

The words ‘Indirect’ ‘Implied’ ‘Evocate’ ‘Remindful’ are common synonyms for Allusive. Though these words involve similar meanings. But the replacement of these in sentences is based on the overall meaning or purpose of the conversation. The allusive sentences are used to indirectly convey a message or to give a hint.

 Allusively in an adverb Allusiveness is the noun form of Allusive.

Few examples of sentences showing the use of the word Allusive:

  1. Bankers quote allusive sentences.
  2. Philosophy is an allusive subject.
  3. He does allusive conversations.

What is Elusive?

The word Elusive originates from the Latin ‘eluded’. Which means hard to grasp or confine. The first known use of the word Elusive dates back to 1719. The word Elusive is sometimes confused with the word Illusive. The meaning of Elusive is something difficult to understand or remember.

The word Elusive is an adjective. The use of this word is moderate in native English speakers. This means the presence of this word in general conversation is slightly average. The word is used for things that are tough to understand. Which are qualitative like love and beauty. 

The ‘Evasive’ ‘Slippery’ ‘Shifty’ are used synonyms for Elusive. These words hold the almost same meaning and perception in sentences and can easily replace each other. Also the word Elusive can be used for ‘Difficult’ in English though they are not synonyms. Example: ‘The fish was difficult to catch’ can be written as ‘The fish was elusive to catch’.

Elusively is an adverb and Elusiveness is the noun form of Elusilvely.

Few examples of sentences showing the use of the word Elusive:

  1. The person was elusive to meet.
  2. History is elusive.
  3. That was an elusive job to do.

What is Illusive?

The word Illusive originates from Latin ‘Ludere’. Which means to play. The presence of this word in English records since the 17 century. The word Illusive and Elusive is confused together. The meaning of Illusive is deceptive or something which is not real.

The word Illusive is an adjective in nature. Illusive is a used word in English. Often the conversations involving topics like dreams, deception, or unreal objects have high chances of using of word Illusion. Also, the word Illusory originates from Illusion and has the same meaning.

The words ‘Deceptive’, ‘Delusive’, ‘Delusory’, ‘Imaginary’ are common synonyms for Illusion. These words have a similar tone of use and can be almost replaced based on the situation. The word Illusive can also be used for a person who is fake or unreal in an attribute. Example: He is no billionaire but a fake. Can be written as ‘He is no billionaire but illusive’

Illusively is an adverb and illusiveness is the noun form of Illusive.

A few examples show the use of the word Illusive:

  1. The dreams are elusive.
  2. The magician showed us some illusive acts.
  3. I have an elusive idea

Difference Allusive, Elusive and Illusive

  1. Allusive simply means to casually remark about something. Whereas Elusive implies a mentally inconceivable task and Illusive just states an Illusion or deception
  2. Allusive has the origin from the ancient word meaning “I mimic”, whereas Elusive has the ancient origin of deception, while Illusive carries the similar ancient origin deception
  3. Allusive has an adjective base of Allude while Elusive has the adjective base of Elude whereas Illusive carries the adjective base of Illude
  4. Allusive can be confused with abusive, whereas Elusive can be mixed with elastic while Illusive can be mistaken as Immersive
  5. For instance, Allusive can be implied in the sentence- “His conversational tactic is allusive”. Whereas Elusive can be framed in a sentence like “Winning the dance trophy for you is elusive”. Similarly, Illusive can be used in some sentences like-” The whole conspiracy thing is elusive”.

Comparison Between Allusive, Elusive, and Illusive

Parameters of comparisonAllusiveElusiveIllusive
Meaning Remarking Casually about someone or somethingSomething mentally inconceivable Form of lie that is not real
Base formThe base form of Allusive is AlludeThe base form of Elusive is EludeThe base form of Illusive is Illusion
Latin form meaningAllusive in Latin form means ‘to’Elusive is Latin means to come out of depressionIllusive in Latin refers to deception

First occurrence
“I mimic”“deception”“deception”
Common misspellingAbusiveElasticImmersive