Etymology
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elusive (adj.)

"hard to grasp or confine," 1719, from Latin elus-, past-participle stem of eludere "elude, frustrate" (see elude) + -ive. Related: Elusiveness.

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Definitions of elusive

elusive (adj.)
difficult to describe;
a haunting elusive odor
elusive (adj.)
skillful at eluding capture; "a cabal of conspirators, each more elusive than the archterrorist"- David Kline;
elusive (adj.)
difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze;
that elusive thing the soul
Synonyms: subtle
elusive (adj.)
making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe;
Synonyms: baffling / knotty / problematic / problematical / tough
From wordnet.princeton.edu