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

The book, out this week, traces Kalanick’s trajectory from floundering startup founder to the envy of Silicon Valley to the epitome of tech evil, and with him a decade of excess and self-delusion. Wired, "WIRED Book of the Month: Super Pumped by Mike Isaac," 3 Sep. 2019 At that point, the U.K. was on the verge of crashing out of the E.U. without basic rules in place, having treated the world to a spectacular display of self-delusion and parliamentary dysfunction. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Boris Johnson’s Parliamentary Runaround," 30 Aug. 2019 Mann, who’s played high-strung moms in many of Apatow’s movies, gives a deft and witty performance that smartly morphs from self-delusion to self-acceptance. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Blockers Is an R-Rated Prom-Night Comedy With Heart," 6 Apr. 2018 Teenage use of the drug is associated with declines in intelligence and mental function that persist into adulthood, according to some studies, and marijuana has been linked to psychosis, which can include hallucinations and delusions. Arman Azad, CNN, "Vaping linked to marijuana use in young people, research says," 12 Aug. 2019 But two-thirds of the attackers in the study had displayed symptoms of mental health issues such as depression, paranoia and delusions. CBS News, "Mental illness isn't main driver of mass shootings, experts say," 6 Aug. 2019 His paranoia bled into delusion and Mr. Sayoc came to believe that prominent Democrats were actively working to hurt him, other Trump supporters, and the country as a whole. oregonlive.com, "Cesar Sayoc, so-called ‘MAGA bomber,’ shows how Donald Trump created ‘sense of community’ among dispossessed," 24 July 2019 In these stories, the borders between hope, delusion and dishonesty are hazy and heavily trafficked. Laura Kolbe, WSJ, "‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ Review: Wishing and Waiting," 12 July 2019 Paranoid delusions provide the underpinnings of various extremist predilections and serve to encourage attacks on vulnerable groups. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Democratic Rot and the Origins of American Conspiracism," 3 July 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

9 Sep 2019

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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

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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