hallucination

noun
hal·​lu·​ci·​na·​tion | \ hə-ˌlü-sə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce hallucination (audio) \

Definition of hallucination

1a : a sensory perception (such as a visual image or a sound) that occurs in the absence of an actual external stimulus and usually arises from neurological disturbance (such as that associated with delirium tremens, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, or narcolepsy) or in response to drugs (such as LSD or phencyclidine) visual/auditory/olfactory/gustatory/tactile hallucinations a drug-induced hallucination An important aspect of the study of hallucinations is the judgement of reality. How does a patient confer the character of reality on stimuli which, beyond any reasonable doubt, originate in his own mind?— Cesare Davalli et al.
b : the object of a hallucinatory perception wasn't sure if the creature was real or a hallucination
2 : an unfounded or mistaken impression or notion : delusion

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Choose the Right Synonym for hallucination

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 hallucination in a Sentence

He could not tell if what he was seeing was real or if it was a hallucination. He has been having hallucinations due to the medication.
Recent Examples on the Web The McGee ambient universe sprawls across platforms, perpetuating the hallucination of the normal. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "“Emily in Paris” and the Rise of Ambient TV," 16 Nov. 2020 Schneider's condition improved after that last hallucination. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "'COVID hallucinations saved my life': Near death, a coronavirus-induced vision told a woman to call 911," 8 July 2020 Schneider reached through the hallucination to grab her cell phone on the nightstand and called 911. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "'COVID hallucinations saved my life': Near death, a coronavirus-induced vision told a woman to call 911," 8 July 2020 There’s also a long hallucination involving a hippopotamus. Dave Eggers, The New Yorker, "Rediscovering One of the Wittiest Books Ever Written," 2 June 2020 The virus also appears to attack the central nervous system, causing delirium and hallucinations in about a third of the patients in intensive care units. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Long after the illness is gone, the damage from coronavirus may remain," 31 May 2020 Noticing patterns in what people would share about their near-death stories, these researchers turned a phenomenon once derided as confabulation or dismissed as feverish hallucination (deathbed visions of yore) into a field of empirical study. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about the Brain," 19 May 2020 Despite the ethereal appearance of this photo, these edible mushrooms won’t induce any hallucinations. Popular Science, "Twelve powerful images to remind us how weird and wild the world is," 13 May 2020 Despite the ethereal appearance of this photo, these edible mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera) won’t induce any hallucinations. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Winners of the 2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition," 11 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hallucination.' 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 hallucination

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hallucination

see hallucinate

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Time Traveler for hallucination

Time Traveler

The first known use of hallucination was in 1629

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Statistics for hallucination

Last Updated

29 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hallucination.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hallucination. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for hallucination

hallucination

noun
How to pronounce hallucination (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hallucination

: something (such as an image, a sound, or a smell) that seems real but does not really exist and that is usually caused by mental illness or the effect of a drug

hallucination

noun
hal·​lu·​ci·​na·​tion | \ hə-ˌlü-sə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce hallucination (audio) \

Kids Definition of hallucination

: the seeing of objects or the experiencing of feelings that are not real but are usually the result of mental disorder or the effect of a drug

hallucination

noun
hal·​lu·​ci·​na·​tion | \ hə-ˌlüs-ᵊn-ˈā-shən How to pronounce hallucination (audio) \

Medical Definition of hallucination

1 : a sensory perception (as a visual image or a sound) that occurs in the absence of an actual external stimulus and usually arises from neurological disturbance (as that associated with delirium tremens, Lewy body disease, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, or narcolepsy) or in response to drugs (as LSD or phencyclidine) visual/auditory/olfactory/gustatory/tactile hallucinations a drug-induced hallucination — compare delusion sense 2, illusion sense 2a
2 : the object of a hallucinatory perception

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