delusion

play
noun de·lu·sion \ di-ˈlü-zhən , dē- \

Definition of delusion

1 :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
2 a :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

delusional

play \-ˈlüzh-nəl, -ˈlü-zhə-nᵊl\ adjective

delusionary

play \-zhə-ˌner-ē\ adjective

Examples of delusion in a Sentence

  1. He has delusions about how much money he can make at that job.

  2. He is living under the delusion that he is incapable of making mistakes.

  3. She is under the delusion that we will finish on time.

  4. As the illness progressed, his delusions took over and he had violent outbursts.

Recent Examples of delusion from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of delusion

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

Synonym Discussion of 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


DELUSION Defined for English Language Learners

delusion

play
noun

Definition of delusion for English Language Learners

  • : a belief that is not true : a false idea

  • : a false idea or belief that is caused by mental illness


DELUSION Defined for Kids

delusion

play
noun de·lu·sion \ di-ˈlü-zhən \

Definition of delusion for Students

: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

Medical Dictionary

delusion

play
noun de·lu·sion \ di-ˈlü-zhən \

medical Definition of delusion

1 a :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 1, illusion 2a


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