progress ... has proved [elusive]

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Senior Member
the following context comes from Congress Races Toward Holiday Under Pressure to Deliver Spending Bill:

President Obama with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at an event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment on Wednesday.

With Wednesday the new deadline on Capitol Hill, congressional negotiators on Sunday reported progress on a $1.1 trillion spending deal that has proved elusive.

Top aides said the measure could finally be made public on Monday, which would represent a breakthrough after weeks of struggle over what policy restrictions could be included as legislative riders. The federal government is operating under a new short-term funding bill that will expire at midnight on Wednesday.

Hi everyone, I don't quite understand the word "elusive" here. I interpret it as "hard to express or define", but I don't know how it makes sense.
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Negotiators are trying to make some progress but nothing that they try has had any effect - progress has been hard to find and still is. (Elusive = resistant to being found.)

    "We went to Sichuan Province looking for pandas, but although we spent 10 days in the mountains, we saw none. Pandas are very elusive."
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