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

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 In the new film Fly Me to the Moon, the sun also rises on cue over a soundstage built to delude viewers. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 12 July 2024 Rather than delude themselves into thinking that modern tools had unburdened them of that old-world obligation, Chung and co. opted to go much the same route. David Ehrlich, IndieWire, 10 July 2024 Anyone who thinks that aforementioned Gomez line isn’t about to become an instantly quotable is deluding themselves. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 19 May 2024 The hundreds of Hollywood Con Queen victims The Con Queen deluded at least 500 victims out of approximately $2 million, according to the docuseries. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 8 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for delude 

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 19 Jul. 2024.

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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