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 Against Las Vegas on Friday, there was palpable frustration from the Sun players every time Wilson hit another basket in the second half en route to her double-double of 26 points and 16 rebounds, invoking deja vu of her performances in Aces’ 2022 WNBA Finals win over Connecticut. Emily Adams, Hartford Courant, 24 June 2024 Despite being fairly common, there's not much research about deja vu. Maria Masters, Health, 22 June 2024 For people who sat out 2023 hoping for a better market this year, purchasing a home this spring will be more like deja vu instead, with expensive homes and high mortgage rates similar to last year. Medora Lee, USA TODAY, 8 May 2024 Like deja vu, there was head coach Dan Hurley, with his sunglasses on, hat on backwards, addressing the crowd from the podium on Trumbull Street with the championship trophy on a table to his left. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 13 Apr. 2024 For Stinson, this prosecution is deja vu all over again. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, 5 June 2024 Advertisement Given his team’s recent postseason fortunes, the result also felt like some October deja vu. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2024 Martin Scorsese fans might have experienced a bit of deja vu afterVariety exclusively reported that a Frank Sinatra biopic is one of two films the Oscar-winning director is planning to shoot back to back. Zack Sharf, Variety, 18 Apr. 2024 Surfacing from the book’s pages into its real world setting evoked an eerie sense of deja vu, with the city’s modern self lightly superimposed over the historic landmarks that fill a reader’s imagination. Amber Turpin, The Mercury News, 4 Mar. 2024

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 25 Jul. 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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