1530s, "to mock" (transitive, now obsolete), from French alluder or directly from Latin alludere "to play, make fun of, joke, jest," also of waves lapping the shore, from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Meaning "make an indirect reference, point in passing" is from 1530s. Related: Alluded; alluding.
"the characters in a play," Latin for "persons of a drama." From the genitive of Late Latin drama and the plural of persona.
1610s, "pertaining to play or sport" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin ludicrus "sportive" (source of Old French ludicre), from ludicrum "amusement, game, toy, source of amusement, joke," from ludere "to play."
This verb, along with Latin ludus "a game, play," is from the PIE root *leid- or *loid- "to play," perhaps literally "to let go frequently" [de Vaan], which is the source also of Middle Irish laidid "impels;" Greek lindesthai "to contend," lizei "plays;" Albanian lind "gives birth," lindet "is born;" Old Lithuanian leidmi "I let," Lithuanian leisti "to let," laidyti "to throw," Latvian laist "let, publish, set in motion."
Sense of "ridiculous, apt to evoke ridicule or jest" is attested from 1782. Related: Ludicrously; ludicrousness.
1510s, "a composition presenting in dialogue a course of human action, the description of a story converted into the action of a play," from Late Latin drama "play, drama," from Greek drama (genitive dramatos) "action, deed; play, spectacle," from drāo "to do, make, act, perform" (especially some great deed, whether good or bad), which is of uncertain etymology.
Meaning "theatrical literature generally, drama as art" is from 1660s. Extended sense of "sequence of events or actions leading up to a climax" is by 1714. Drama queen "person who habitually responds to situations in a melodramatic way" is attested by 1992.