déjà vu

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

Akron, Ohio —Whenever his two little girls play doctor, and dream of becoming one someday, 48-year-old master mechanic Carl Allamby is flooded with the feeling of deja vu. Steve Hartman, CBS News, "Auto doctor fulfills childhood dream and becomes a medical doctor in his 40s," 9 Aug. 2019 However, in a moment of real deja vu, the goal was correctly disallowed after VAR ruled Aymeric Laporte's unintentional handball in the build-up to have provided a unfair advantage to the home side. SI.com, "Mauricio Pochettino Discusses Draw at Man City, His Love of VAR & 'Unsettled' Squad," 18 Aug. 2019 This sparked a strange feeling of deja vu for viewers at home. SI.com, "Community Shield: Twitter Reacts to Drama, Kyle Walker Clearance & Penalties as City Edge Liverpool," 4 Aug. 2019 For conservationists, this year has been a bad case of deja vu. Amanda Coletta, Anchorage Daily News, "North Atlantic right whales are migrating in new ways - and dying in the process," 2 Aug. 2019 When Shay Mitchell first appears onscreen in Hulu’s Dollface, fans may get a feeling of deja vu. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Shay Mitchell promises her Dollface character isn't just another Peach from Netflix's YOU," 26 July 2019 The cases are deja vu to the early 2000s, when federal prosecutors filed two major cases against the same gangs, intent on moving gang leaders out of state to high security federal prisons. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "California gang leaders’ prison cell phones reveal secrets that stayed in the dark for years," 3 July 2019 Watching the England Under-21s take on Romania was a serious case of deja vu. SI.com, "England Self-Destruct Once More - Why Oh Why Does This Keep Happening at Major Tournaments," 22 June 2019 Everything old is new again, and yet the return of cargo pants, tiny sunglasses, and tattoo necklaces can feel like deja vu for those who lived through the trends the first time around. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Beyoncé Revives a Forgotten ’90s Trend," 31 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for déjà vu

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for déjà vu

The first known use of déjà vu was in 1903

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More Definitions for déjà vu

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
chiefly US, informal : 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 How to pronounce déjà vu (audio) \

Medical Definition of déjà vu

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Comments on déjà vu

What made you want to look up déjà vu? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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