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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But material on my mother’s paranoia and delusions was not as readily available, and absent from my school health classes in the ’70s and ’80s. Laura Zera, New York Times, "No One Helped My Mentally Ill Mother, or Me," 22 June 2018 Nuplazid, a drug for hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease, failed two clinical trials. Caroline Chen, Fox News, "FDA repays drug industry by rushing risky meds to market," 1 July 2018 For nine years of highs and lows, Doug and his wife sought medical opinions in Texas and elsewhere to help Patrick shed the hallucinations and delusions of schizophrenia. Charlotte Huff, Washington Post, "Alarming Suicide Rate Jolts Texas Community Into Action," 7 May 2018 Overall, patients with severe mood symptoms either way may also experience a lack of touch with reality that may include hallucinations and delusions. Edmi Y. Cortes Torres, M.d., miamiherald, "How to manage the highs and lows that Is bipolar disorder," 7 May 2018 Parkinson’s disease psychosis consists of mental disturbances such as hallucinations and delusions. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "No change in FDA's position on Parkinson's drug Nuplazid," 27 Apr. 2018 Hallucinations and delusions are common symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Michael Harriot, The Root, "What I Learned From My Week as a Conservative," 23 Feb. 2018 Just lean into the delusion, and everything will be well. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Making Us All Live in His Delusional Reality Show," 15 June 2018 In other words, testosterone is a kind of masculinist delusion, a device to fool yourself into thinking that there are actual physiological and psychological differences between men and women. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about delusion

Statistics for delusion

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delusion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on delusion

What made you want to look up delusion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!