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 \ di-​ˈlüzh-​nəl , dē-​, -​ˈlü-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective
delusionary \ di-​ˈlü-​zhə-​ˌner-​ē , 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

Ed Rogers, Muller’s boyfriend, told ABC7NY the 54-year-old suffered from alcoholism and delusions. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Knife-wielding woman killed by New York City police had 'history of calls' to her home, officials say," 19 Sep. 2018 Is there any remaining resistance to delusion and violence at all within the right’s coalition, other than from Sen. Jeff Flake’s tweets? David Roberts, Vox, "The caravan “invasion” and America’s epistemic crisis," 2 Nov. 2018 Mark Zuckerberg will go down in history as a tragic figure, and one befitting an age of billionaire savior delusions. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Silence from Zuckerberg, Sandberg on Facebook scandal like putting 'gasoline on the fire'," 20 Mar. 2018 There were five drugs, and Hambrick can still reel off the names: Risperdal, Vistaril and Prozac for delusions and moods. Amy Yurkanin, AL.com, "After deputies killed her son, a mother pleads for mental health training for police," 9 Feb. 2018 The condition is similar to schizophrenia and often includes hallucinations or delusions and episodes of mania and depression. Paula Mcmahon, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Naked bank robber found not guilty by reason of insanity," 1 Feb. 2018 Someone experiencing psychosis has difficulty understanding what is real and usually experiences delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Things You Should Know About Taking Antipsychotic Drugs," 7 Dec. 2018 Delirium, which can cause confusion, anxiety and delusions, is a common issue for hospitals. Melanie Evans, WSJ, "No Benefit Seen From Antipsychotics Used in Delirious Hospital Patients," 22 Oct. 2018 Stoll’s Trigorin is a playful destroyer, and his scenes with the two women are tricky displays of manipulation and self-serving delusion. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "The Seagull’ has great performances but never takes wing," 23 May 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

14 Jan 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 \

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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