déjà vu


: the illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time
: a feeling that one has seen or heard something before
Despite a blond, swept-back mane all his own, Fonda looks startlingly like his father, Henry … . He even moves like his father, only dispelling the eerie feeling of déjà vu when he opens his mouth.Peter Biskind
: something overly or unpleasantly familiar
The team's poor start to the season was déjà vu for its long-suffering fans.

Examples of déjà vu in a Sentence

I entered the room and immediately felt a sense of déjà vu. When the car broke down again, it was déjà vu. The rise in housing costs is déjà vu all over again.
Recent Examples on the Web Balancing all of those worlds kind of feels like deja vu. Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 2 Feb. 2024 But Wednesday’s scene was deja vu for a House Republican majority that’s repeatedly struggled to coalesce on spending issues. Lauren Peller, ABC News, 10 Jan. 2024 While this may all sound distinctly new and unique to part-time horror fans, aficionados of the genre may feel a rather strong sense of deja vu. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Oct. 2023 There’s been a lot of deja vu with little things that have happened that feels reminiscent of my rookie year. Brian Wacker, Baltimore Sun, 6 Sep. 2023 If their applause on Tuesday brings a feeling of deja vu, there's good reason. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2023 Bomba had deja vu from San Francisco, where the air was so thick with smoke people had to mask up. Seth Borenstein and Melina Walling, Anchorage Daily News, 1 July 2023 Hailey Bieber's latest beauty look just gave me serious deja vu. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 26 June 2023 But in the shorter term, likely stretching past the next presidential election, the historic development had an air of deja vu − of Trump enmeshed in yet another controversy that would have ended the public career of almost anyone else. Susan Page, USA TODAY, 14 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'déjà vu.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, adjective, literally, already seen

First Known Use

1903, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of déjà vu was in 1903

Dictionary Entries Near déjà vu

Cite this Entry

“Déjà vu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/d%C3%A9j%C3%A0%20vu. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

déjà vu

dé·​jà vu ˌdā-ˌzhä-ˈvü How to pronounce déjà vu (audio)
: a feeling that one has seen or heard something before

French, literally, "already seen"

Medical Definition

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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