delusion

noun
de·​lu·​sion | \ di-ˈlü-zhən How to pronounce delusion (audio) , dē-\

Definition of delusion

1a : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated under the delusion that they will finish on schedule delusions of grandeur
b psychology : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary the delusion that someone was out to hurt him also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs
2 : the act of tricking or deceiving someone : the state of being deluded … accused the Bohemian of having practised the most abominable arts of delusion among the younger brethren.— Walter Scott

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Other Words from delusion

delusional \ di-​ˈlüzh-​nəl How to pronounce delusional (audio) , dē-​ , -​ˈlü-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective
delusionary \ di-​ˈlü-​zhə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce delusionary (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for delusion

delusion, illusion, hallucination, mirage mean something that is believed to be true or real but that is actually false or unreal. delusion implies an inability to distinguish between what is real and what only seems to be real, often as the result of a disordered state of mind. delusions of persecution illusion implies a false ascribing of reality based on what one sees or imagines. an illusion of safety hallucination implies impressions that are the product of disordered senses, as because of mental illness or drugs. suffered from terrifying hallucinations mirage in its extended sense applies to an illusory vision, dream, hope, or aim. claimed a balanced budget is a mirage

Examples of delusion in a Sentence

He has delusions about how much money he can make at that job. He is living under the delusion that he is incapable of making mistakes. She is under the delusion that we will finish on time. As the illness progressed, his delusions took over and he had violent outbursts.
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Recent Examples on the Web Anybody who thinks the language in Harkin-Engel means anything other than labeling for consumers is engaged in cynical self-delusion. Washington Post, "Cocoa’s child laborers," 5 June 2019 He's stuffed tight with delusions of grandeur and fetid grievances. Ron Charles, Dallas News, "'The Doll Factory' is a page-turning Victorian thriller," 13 Aug. 2019 At first, the image USC has of itself as the center of the college football universe seemed like epic self-delusion. oregonlive, "That tremor in California might be the end of major college athletics as we know them: Issues & Answers," 10 Sep. 2019 Busey's frontal lobe damage, which made him more impulsive and prone to anger and delusions of grandeur, also impacted his creative mastery — his ability to compose music. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, "Gary Busey, Set to Play God, Believes "There Is No Death"," 22 Aug. 2019 Abbott compellingly details his life and times, rise and fall, delusions, paranoia and, frankly, his genius. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "Karen Abbott brings George Remus to life in new book," 1 Aug. 2019 Of course, one man's dream is another man’s delusion. NBC News, "They're telling us there's a chance: Why the debate nonqualifiers won't quit (yet)," 12 Sep. 2019 To the intelligentsia, Gladwell’s an oversimplifier on his very best day; on his worst, a conspiracy-theorizing spinner of mass delusion. Wired, "The Lovability of Malcolm Gladwell: A Gladwellian Analysis," 9 Sep. 2019 To make matters worse, as Ann Killion notes, the Raiders are not an ideal landing spot for a dysfunctional player who harbors delusions of grandeur. Jen Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Inside the Ghost Ship trial verdict," 6 Sep. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for delusion

Middle English, from Late Latin delusion-, delusio, from deludere — see delude

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Statistics for delusion

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for delusion

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

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More Definitions for delusion

delusion

noun
How to pronounce delusion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of delusion

: a belief that is not true : a false idea
: a false idea or belief that is caused by mental illness

delusion

noun
de·​lu·​sion | \ di-ˈlü-zhən How to pronounce delusion (audio) \

Kids Definition of delusion

: a false belief that continues in spite of the facts “You might be laboring under the delusion that the entire … world is impressed with you …”— J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire

delusion

noun
de·​lu·​sion | \ di-ˈlü-zhən How to pronounce delusion (audio) \

Medical Definition of delusion

1a : the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
b : an abnormal mental state characterized by the occurrence of psychotic delusions
2 : a false belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that persists despite the facts and occurs in some psychotic states — compare hallucination sense 1, illusion sense 2a

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