déjà vu

noun
dé·​jà vu | \ ˌdā-ˌzhä-ˈvü How to pronounce déjà vu (audio) , -ˈvᵫ How to pronounce déjà vu (audio) \

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 Anxiety about mingling with strangers — especially while exercising — is high, and morale is flagging as Covid-19 cases soar, leaving the nation with a wearying sense of deja vu. NBC News, 10 Jan. 2022 With the latest coronavirus wave upending another holiday season, frontline employees are feeling a disturbing sense of deja vu. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 24 Dec. 2021 The disheartening sense of COVID-19 deja vu is acute in countries like Germany, where vaccination rates are the lowest in western Europe and new infections are breaking records. oregonlive, 14 Nov. 2021 Noting the similar language, Barthès asked: Was there a sense of deja vu? Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2021 The vigil, which followed a similar event held Saturday in Albuquerque, carried a disheartening sense of deja vu. Anousha Sakoui, Los Angeles Times, 24 Oct. 2021 The growing contingent of skeptical fans of the New Orleans Pelicans were hit with a Steven Adams-sized dose of deja vu just hours before the season-opening tipoff against the Philadelphia 76ers. Christopher Dodson, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 Many residents experienced deja vu as Hurricane Ida made landfall on the 16th anniversary of Katrina. Leslie Kelly, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 The plot of this new movie starring Riz Ahmed might inspire a touch of deja vu for those who caught the terrific Sound of Metal last year. Keith Phipps, Rolling Stone, 30 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for déjà vu

Time Traveler

The first known use of déjà vu was in 1903

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Dictionary Entries Near déjà vu

deixis

déjà vu

deject

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Statistics for déjà vu

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Déjà vu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/d%C3%A9j%C3%A0%20vu. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for déjà vu

déjà vu

noun

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

noun
dé·​jà vu | \ ˌdā-ˌzhä-ˈv(y)ü, dā-zhȧ-vᵫ̅ How to pronounce déjà vu (audio) \

Medical Definition of déjà vu

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