déjà vu

dé·​jà vu | \ˌdā-ˌzhä-ˈvü, -ˈvᵫ\

Definition of déjà vu 

1a : the illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time

b : 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

2 : 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But this game for him was like deja vu of Game 3 last year for him, just all the way around. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Warriors come from behind to beat the Cavaliers 110-102, take a commanding 3-0 series lead," 7 June 2018 For the ubiquitous chain, moving slower and shutting unprofitable stores may trigger some deja vu. Leslie Patton, chicagotribune.com, "Starbucks plans to open fewer stores in U.S. while closing many in larger cities," 19 June 2018 The destruction that occurred from the flood in Ellicott City — for the second time within two years — is dark deja vu for the merchants, workers, business owners and residents of that charming town and for the Baltimore region. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "Ellicott City flood was no 'act of God'," 29 May 2018 In the devastating deja vu, raging rivers of water tore through the heart of the city, leaving homes and businesses flooded and some residents scrambling for dry ground. Jeff Pegues, CBS News, "Ellicott City flooding: Howard County had just received funding for extra drainage pipes," 28 May 2018 But the Cradle itself send commands to the parks, not unlike the way the Matrix papers over glitches with deja vu. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "The Cradle On Westworld Is Capable Of So Much More Than We Expected," 28 May 2018 While watching video this week of the Rockets, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr experienced a bit of deja vu. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Steve Kerr, Mike D’Antoni: Hoops savants who clashed in the past," 11 May 2018 In what could seem like deja vu, Assil’s new project falls under the banner of Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "Reem Assil continues meteoric rise with new fine-dining restaurant at Jack London Square," 21 Feb. 2018 The first’s a bit of deja vu, as Call of Duty: WWII’s multiplayer component is free for the weekend. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Red Dead Redemption 2 ignores PCs but Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is back," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'déjà vu.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of déjà vu

1903, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for déjà vu

French, adjective, literally, already seen

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The first known use of déjà vu was in 1903

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déjà vu


English Language Learners Definition of déjà vu

: the feeling that you have already experienced something that is actually happening for the first time

: something that has happened many times before : something that is very familiar

déjà vu

dé·​jà vu | \ˌdā-ˌzhä-ˈv(y)ü, dā-zhȧ-vᵫ̅\

Medical Definition of déjà vu 

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a knickknack or trinket

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