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

But the notion that any profit earned on Pharma is immoral or antisocial is the product of delusional thinking, the delusion being that drug research is risk-free. Washington Post, "What the Democratic candidates are getting wrong about business," 3 Aug. 2019 Dominique Jackson does an excellent job selling us on the delusion that Electra lives in, and at providing us with this comically bad performance. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Performing Through Pain: 5 Key Takeaways From 'Pose' Season 2, Episode 6," 24 July 2019 Embedded in this oblivion are both the liberal delusion that people are naturally good and the neoliberal sophistry that the market, like the tide, will raise everyone up with it. Dale Peck, The New Republic, "My Mayor Pete Problem," 12 July 2019 Keller said Sunday that Intel can sustain that delusion, but that smaller transistors will be just one part of how. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Intel's New Chip Wizard Has a Plan to Bring Back the Magic," 3 July 2019 No treaty, no matter how just or generous, could puncture the utopian delusions that were displacing the political and religious beliefs of entire populations. Joseph Loconte, WSJ, "The Versailles Treaty Gets a Bum Rap," 27 June 2019 The film is a hero’s journey, full of delusion and obsession. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "You Can't Hate San Francisco Unless You Love San Francisco," 7 June 2019 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

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

12 Aug 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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