Allusion



a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication:
The novel’s title is an allusion to Shakespeare.
the act of ; the making of a casual or indirect reference to something:
The Bible is a fertile source of allusion in art.
Obsolete. a metaphor or parable.
Contemporary Examples

From Cyrus on, however, it was all, to borrow another Biblical allusion, fire and brimstone.
Netanyahu Swims Against Iranian Diplomatic Current Ali Gharib October 1, 2013

And near the end of the play, Seguin offered an allusion to Fiddler on the Roof, yelling, “Sunrise, sunset!”
Chaz Bono’s ‘Independence Day’: Strippers, Racism & More Crazy Moments Anna Klassen June 24, 2013

Yes, that was an allusion to segregation, which was received with bug eyes and dropped jaws.
CPAC Panel on Transcending Racist Label Breaks Down Into Verbal Chaos Caitlin Dickson March 15, 2013

Was this an allusion to a sexual dimension to their relationship?
Scientists Exhume the Heart of Richard the Lionheart Dan Jones March 2, 2013

Instead, we have irony, allusion, meta commentary, fragmentation, parody, and pastiche.
Not Much New in Douglas Rushkoff’s Reading of the Future Jacob Silverman March 25, 2013

Historical Examples

I have said something as to the effect produced upon our comrade by any allusion to his flaming poll.
A Veldt Vendetta Bertram Mitford

The allusion and a consciousness of Vancouver brought a smile into Viviette’s eyes.
Viviette William J. Locke

So Aunt Rebecca’s allusion to desperate characters had not been so far-fetched, after all.
The Gold Girl James B. Hendryx

The youth vanishes; no reader can find a trace of him, or even an allusion to him.
The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris

The allusion was pretty plainly to my misfortune at New York.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348 Various

noun
the act of alluding
a passing reference; oblique or obscure mention
n.

1540s, from Latin allusionem (nominative allusio) “a playing with, a reference to,” noun of action from past participle stem of alludere (see allude). An allusion is never an outright or explicit mention of the person or thing the speaker seems to have in mind.

An indirect reference to some piece of knowledge not actually mentioned. Allusions usually come from a body of information that the author presumes the reader will know. For example, an author who writes, “She was another Helen,” is alluding to the proverbial beauty of Helen of Troy.

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