Etymology
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ludicrous (adj.)

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.

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ludic (adj.)
"spontaneously playful," 1940, a term in psychiatry, from French ludique, from Latin ludere "to play" (see ludicrous).
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lusory (adj.)
"playful," 1650s, from Latin lusorius "belonging to a player," from lusor "player," from stem of ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Related: Lusorious (1610s).
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lusus naturae (n.)
in natural history, "freak of nature," 1660s, a Latin phrase, from lusus "a play," from stem of ludere "to play" (see ludicrous) + genitive of natura (see nature (n.)). Originally of fossils, before there was a scientific basis for understanding their existence.
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illude (v.)
early 15c., "to trick, deceive; treat with scorn or mockery," from Latin illudere "to make sport of, scoff at, mock, jeer at," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (from PIE root *en "in") + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous).
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illusory (adj.)
1590s, from French illusorie, from Late Latin illusorius "ironical, of a mocking character," from illus-, past participle stem of Latin illudere "mock, jeer at, make fun of," literally "play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous).
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collusion (n.)

"secret agreement for fraudulent or harmful purposes," late 14c., from Old French collusion and directly from Latin collusionem (nominative collusio) "act of colluding," from colludere, from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see com-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). "The notion of fraud or underhandedness is essential to collusion" [Fowler].

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prelude (n.)

"introductory performance; a preliminary to an action event or work," 1560s, from French prélude "notes sung or played to test the voice or instrument" (1530s), from Medieval Latin preludium "prelude, preliminary," from Latin praeludere "to play beforehand for practice, preface," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Purely musical sense of "movement or piece forming the introduction to a musical work" is attested in English by 1650s. Related: Preludial; prelusive; prelusory; preludious; prelusion.

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allude (v.)

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.

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elude (v.)
1530s, "delude, make a fool of," from Latin eludere "finish play, win at play; escape from or parry (a blow), make a fool of, mock, frustrate; win from at play," from assimilated form of ex "out, away" (see ex-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Sense of "evade" is first recorded 1610s in a figurative sense, 1630s in a literal one. Related: Eluded; eludes; eluding.
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