delusion

noun
de·lu·sion | \ di-ˈlü-zhən , 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 \-ˈlüzh-nəl, -ˈlü-zhə-nᵊl \ adjective
delusionary \-zhə-ˌner-ē \ 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

Lewis is ice cold, pale, and pathetic, as Soames clings to his Victorian delusions, stuffing his emotions down, his eyes a brutish blue. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "Ten actors who shone even before they were stars," 28 June 2018 No one left on this lawless landscape still harbors any delusions of doing the right thing. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Violent, self-admiring sequel 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' gets lost in the desert," 26 June 2018 Our Beirut experience did not give me delusions of being a journalist. CNN, "Anthony Bourdain shone a different light on the Middle East," 8 June 2018 The myth of their goodness will feed the delusion of our security. Mychal Denzel Smith, The New Republic, "How America became over-policed," 5 June 2018 The bench players were not given to delusions of grandeur. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Remembering, catching up with the 1983 World Series champion Orioles 35 years later," 22 Mar. 2018 The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression –common symptoms of dementia. Jonel Aleccia And Melissa Bailey, USA TODAY, "Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 1 July 2018 The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia. NBC News, "Unlocked And loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 26 June 2018 The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia. Washington Post, "Unlocked And Loaded: Families Confront Dementia And Guns," 25 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.

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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 2018

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 \

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 \

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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Comments on delusion

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