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Difference Between Elude and Evade

Elude vs Evade

Both “elude” and “evade” are words that pertain to the avoidance or escape from one entity or situation. They can also refer to a voluntary action of not understanding or not being seen. Both terms are also used as verbs and used with an object.

“Evade” and “elude” are used interchangeably and as synonyms to each other, but there is a slight difference in the two terms’ meanings. The two terms give the impression of premeditation in their meaning. However, “elude” is a specific avoidance using a person’s dexterity or agility. On the other hand, “evade” is to escape from something illegal or immoral. “Evade” also connotes the illegal or immoral intent of the subject. This word is often used as a criminal term and description, e.g., tax evasion.

Another distinction of “elude” is that it is commonly mistaken with “allude,” a verb which means “to make indirect or vague references in a context.”
The origins of both terms are also different. Both have Latin origins, but their translated Latin meanings are different. “Elude” comes from the Latin “eludere” which means “to play.” On the other hand, “evade” comes from another Latin word “evadere” which means “to go out.” There is a later French version “evader” of the Latin “evadere” before it finally emerged as English “evade.”

As verbs, both “elude” and “evade” have morphological forms. Their respective morphological forms are dependent on the context’s time phrase or marker. For example, in the past tense, “elude” becomes “eluded” and “evade” becomes “evaded.” The present tense use “evades” and “eludes.” The future tense forms a transitive verb for both words which results in “to elude” and “to evade.”

Both “elude” and “evade” can also have noun forms. “Elude” has noun forms in “elusion” and “eluder.” Similarly, “evade” also has noun forms, for example, “evader” and “evasive.” Three adjective forms; “evasive, evasible” and “evadable” are also credited to “evade.” As adjectives, the three terms are subject to three degrees of comparison; base, comparative, and superlative degrees. Instead of undergoing morphology, additional words are joined to the present comparative and superlative degrees of comparison.

Another interesting note is that “evade” and its noun form “eluder” which is mostly used by military personnel in military situations.

Summary:

1.Both “elude” and “evade” are verbs that indicate avoidance or escape. They both have Latin origins though their Latin meanings are very different.
2.They can be used interchangeably as they are also synonyms to each other. This also means that their antonyms are also the same concepts. Other interesting facts are that both terms rhyme with each other and both terms have five letters each in their base form.
3.“Elude” comes from the Latin “eludere” which means “to play” while “evade” has the Latin “evader” which means “to go out.”
4.Both usages of “evade” and “elude” have a premeditated action of escape from a situation or entity.
5.There is a slight different between “elude” and “evade” in terms of their meanings. “Elude” implies flight using a person’s agility, dexterity, or other skills. On the other hand, “evade” is an avoidance which involves situations with illegal and immoral intent or context.
6.In many situations, “elude” is often mistaken for “allude” which is another verb that indicates a reference to an indirect context or situation. The reason for this confusion is that “elude” and “allude” sound almost exactly the same. The confusion has been cited as one of the most common grammatical confusions for English learners and students. Other similar sounding terms to “elude” include “delude” (a transitive verb that implies deceit and manipulation) and “illude” (another transitive verb with the same meaning and function as the verb “delude”).


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