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indirect, suggestive


allusive = voller Anspielungen, anspielungsreich, suggestiv --- GOOGLE INDEX allusive: approximately 882,000 Google hits



The Tree of Life is Terrence Malick's ALLUSIVE and fragmented film based on a 1950s Texan family - Mr and Mrs O'Brien (Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain) and their three sons.

(BBC News)

Georgia-born artist Thea Djordjadze works quickly and intuitively, creating poetic, ALLUSIVE arrangements that hint at ever-shifting stories.

(The Guardian)

Did you

allusive (noun form = allusiveness)

- using or containing suggestion rather than explicit mention


- an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference

(Oxford English Dictionary)

Allusive is the adjective form of the verb "allude," meaning to mention someone or something without talking about them directly. Allude stems from the Middle French "alluder" or perhaps directly from the Latin "alludere," to play, joke, jest, tease (from ad ="to" + ludere = "to play). The sense of making an indirect reference to something first appeared in the mid-16th century.

This root is also related to the English "ludicrous," which means stupid or unreasonable and deserving to be laughed at. Although not confirmed, the German word "Luder" (animal bait and also someone - usually a woman - who teases in a sensual way) is also likely related.

Many of the great literary works of our time are filled with allusive writing. Shakespeare was a master at using this style. For instance, when Romeo says, "arise fair sun and kill the envious moon," he is "alluding" to the Greek goddess Diana who was often associated with the moon as well as with virginity and maidens.

Everyday writing and speech can also be allusive:

- His quick temper was his Achilles heel (in reference to the Greek mythological figure Achilles whose mother dipped him in magical water to protect him, only to forget his heel which became his one weakness)

When using the word allusive, be careful not to confuse it with two other words that sound very similar when pronounced:

- illusive = not real although it may seem to be (Many musicians eventually discover that fame is illusive)

- elusive = difficult to find, catch or achieve (The team knows that winning will be more elusive without its star striker on the pitch)


connotative, evocative, figurative, implied, impressionistic, indirect, inferred, remindful, suggestive

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation

"I like the indirect, allusive quality of our advertising campaign."

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