de·​lu·​sive di-ˈlü-siv How to pronounce delusive (audio)
: likely to delude
delusive promises
: constituting a delusion
delusive beliefs
delusively adverb
delusiveness noun

Examples of delusive in a Sentence

delusive promises of high-paying jobs for low-skilled workers
Recent Examples on the Web This isn’t callousness or delusive optimism but, rather, a rebellion against the suffocating expectation that the elderly have foreclosed the possibility of joy. Hillary Kelly, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2024 To separate art from its historical framework is futile, and to reject it in an effort to censor past violence is a delusive act of virtue signaling. WSJ, 5 July 2022 Many less attractive traits are also recorded: Charles could be uncommunicative and dilatory, evasive and mendacious, refractory, vindictive, obstinate, even outright wicked, though self-delusive about the motives of others. R.j.w. Evans, The New York Review of Books, 11 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delusive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of delusive was in 1605

Dictionary Entries Near delusive

Cite this Entry

“Delusive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​lu·​sive di-ˈlü-siv How to pronounce delusive (audio)
: deluding or likely to delude
delusively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on delusive

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