de·​lude | \di-ˈlüd, dē-\
deluded; deluding

Definition of delude 

transitive verb

1 : to mislead the mind or judgment of : deceive, trick … people he regards as deluded by the romantic idea that children somehow possess innate knowledge …— Andrew Delbanco … Hamilton apparently deluded himself, as the first Treasury secretary, into thinking his policies patriotic when their effect, Mr. Phillips says, was to put money into silken purses.— Michael Knox Beran

2 obsolete

a : frustrate, disappoint

b : evade, elude

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Other Words from delude

deluder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for delude

deceive, mislead, delude, beguile mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness. deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness. tried to deceive me about the cost mislead implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional. I was misled by the confusing sign delude implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth. we were deluded into thinking we were safe beguile stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving. was beguiled by false promises

Examples of delude in a Sentence

we deluded ourselves into thinking that the ice cream wouldn't affect our diet

Recent Examples on the Web

At this point, for me, Ford and the Man in Black are different sides of the same megalomaniacal coin, deluded and increasingly tiresome to watch. The Atlantic, "Westworld: Ghost Nation, Revealed," 10 June 2018 Using the argument of art’s truth as a bludgeon, Annie dismisses her son’s feelings, offering an even harsher version of the neglect on display by the self-servingly deluded poet-mother in Augusten Burroughs’s memoir Running With Scissors. Katherine Fusco, The Atlantic, "Hereditary and the Monstrousness of Creative Moms," 11 July 2018 The message O’Connor sent with the benchings on Saturday night was, in essence, telling the players to stop deluding themselves into thinking the nine-match losing streak was some fluky happenstance of bad breaks, bad officiating and bad coaching. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "James O’Connor is finally forcing Orlando City’s players to look in the mirror," 14 July 2018 The film feels no need to convince us Graves isn't deluded, but anyone curious enough to do a bit of research will find accredited Western-medicine physicians who take him seriously. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Milford Graves: Full Mantis': Film Review," 11 July 2018 For years, doubters and scoffers have derided as romantic or deluded the folks who fought for Detroit’s future. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit train station is city's biggest comeback moment yet," 15 June 2018 Both the original settlers and those who, over the subsequent centuries, have quixotically tried to trace them seem equally deluded. The Economist, "The tale of the “Lost Colony” is a chronicle of delusion," 7 June 2018 The scandal was both a huge story and quickly faded from the public consciousness, almost like sports fans want to delude themselves into thinking that everything is always on the up and up. Chris Chase, For The Win, "11 biggest scandals in sports gambling history," 16 May 2018 As for Eleanor, Patrick’s mother (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh), the novels depict her, unforgivingly, as a monster of neglect and deluded self-pity. New York Times, "Benedict Cumberbatch Just Crossed the Last Role Off His Bucket List," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delude.' 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 delude

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for delude

Middle English, from Latin deludere, from de- + ludere to play — more at ludicrous

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Statistics for delude

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delude

The first known use of delude was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for delude



English Language Learners Definition of delude

: to cause (someone) to believe something that is not true


de·​lude | \di-ˈlüd \
deluded; deluding

Kids Definition of delude

: deceive sense 1, mislead They were deluded by the ad's claims.

de·​lude | \di-ˈlüd \
deluded; deluding

Medical Definition of delude 

: to mislead the mind or judgment of

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More from Merriam-Webster on delude

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with delude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for delude

Spanish Central: Translation of delude

Nglish: Translation of delude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of delude for Arabic Speakers

Comments on delude

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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