A reference to a historical or literary figure or event.
Example: I am no Prince Hamlet.
Often confused with illusion, an allusion is a literary term that refers to a reference in one literary work to another literary work. E.g. The Simpsons television show constantly refers to (some may say, steals from) movies, music, literature etc. In a scene where Principal Skinner is in his office, he suddenly turns to his window and looks out at an old, spooky house while he talks about a tormented relationship with his mother. This is an allusion to the Norman Bates character in the movie Psycho.
I highly recommended M.H. Abram's Glossary of Literary Terms.
Another example of an allusion would be "The girl's love of sweets was her Achilles heel," referencing the warrior in Greek mythology, Achilles, who could only be harmed if something hit his heel because he was dipped in magic water as baby when his mother held him by a heel. Achilles' only weakness is his heel, so an Achilles heel reference means a downfall or weakness, in this example a weakness for sweets.
Example of Allusion
An allusion is a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work or work of art. For example:
What are some examples of a literary allusion?
Your mama SMELLS! That's an allusion
Get out of allusion . He will not come back.
yo m a m a
She had a Cinderella wedding
He makes vague allusions to Harry Potter being his son.
the allusion would be king herod.
lolo mong panot
In the beginning there is an allusion to Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address in the phrase "five score".
to love or not to love that is the question
The Bible and The Epic Poem