de·​lude di-ˈlüd How to pronounce delude (audio)
deluded; deluding

transitive verb

: 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
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

Example Sentences

we deluded ourselves into thinking that the ice cream wouldn't affect our diet
Recent Examples on the Web The way the position has been devalued around the league in recent years, some deluded themselves into thinking Robinson might drift all the way to Dallas at No. 26. David Moore, Dallas News, 28 Apr. 2023 Don’t delude yourself. Marni Jameson,, 21 Aug. 2020 Perhaps the esteem that’s placed on Stradivarius violins is less about the triumph to age-old craftsmanship, and more a testament to our ability to delude ourselves. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2012 The British had concocted Operation Mincemeat to delude Hitler about the site of planned 1943 Allied landings in southern Europe. Sigrid Macrae, Harper's Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021 Our analysis of data from the popular Web site suggests that this is not the case: Less attractive people do not delude themselves into thinking that their dates are more physically attractive than others perceive them to be. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 17 Dec. 2011 They would never be lulled into believing that thousands of scientists have conspired to delude people into accepting a phony consensus. Dan Hurley, Discover Magazine, 12 Sep. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delude.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near delude

Cite this Entry

“Delude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​lude di-ˈlüd How to pronounce delude (audio)
deluded; deluding
: to lead into error : mislead the judgment of : deceive, trick
deluded by false promises
deluder noun

Medical Definition


transitive verb
de·​lude di-ˈlüd How to pronounce delude (audio)
deluded; deluding
: to mislead the mind or judgment of

More from Merriam-Webster on delude

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