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 family knew that Sardy’s mother suffered from delusions, but felt helpless to do anything about it. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Searing account takes readers into one family’s experience of schizophrenia and homelessness in Anchorage," 29 June 2019 Charitable friends from England secured his release, but Brummell spent his final days in a state of severe depression and self-delusion. Ignacio Peyró, National Geographic, "This 19th-century London dandy caused a style revolution," 18 June 2019 Perhaps, also, the better to kill with, human history providing no shortage of reminders that any distinction between tool and weapon derives from delusions of civilization. Jonny Diamond, Longreads, "Lumbersexuality, a Sport and a Pastime," 8 June 2019 May Kanye and Candace’s delusion serve as a warning. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Kanye West, Candace Owens and the Conservative Sunken Place," 23 Apr. 2018 Minimalist answers like the border wall also may represent the future—a conscious act of self-delusion that sates the emotional needs of contemporary politics but lets the realities fester. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Gridlock Is the New Normal," 16 Jan. 2019 Self-delusion is a destructive state of mind and winning 52 games and a playoff series is an easy way to inhabit it. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Celtics' NBA playoff win teaches Sixers a lot about where they need to go from here | David Murphy," 10 May 2018 Nothing pairs better with a flaming Bacardi 151 floater than a heaping dose of self-delusion. Heather Havrilesky, The Cut, "The Bachelor Finale Was Enough to Make You Nostalgic for Paradise Hotel," 7 Mar. 2018 Toting delusion Remember Balenciaga’s $2,145 blue bag which looked eerily similar to the IKEA shopping tote? Audrey Gorden, RedEye Chicago, "Weekend cheat sheet: 5 buzz-worthy topics people will be talking about," 30 June 2017

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

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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