déjà vu

noun dé·jà vu \ ˌdā-ˌzhä-ˈvü , -ˈvᵫ \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of déjà vu

1 a : 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

  1. I entered the room and immediately felt a sense of déjà vu.

  2. When the car broke down again, it was déjà vu.

  3. The rise in housing costs is déjà vu all over again.

Recent Examples of déjà vu from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of déjà vu

French, adjective, literally, already seen


DÉJÀ VU Defined for English Language Learners

déjà vu

noun

Definition of déjà vu for English Language Learners

  • : 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


Medical Dictionary

déjà vu

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

medical Definition of déjà vu


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