illusion

noun
il·​lu·​sion | \ i-ˈlü-zhən How to pronounce illusion (audio) \
plural illusions

Definition of illusion

1a(1) : a misleading image presented to the vision : optical illusion
(2) : something that deceives or misleads intellectually
b(1) : perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature
(3) : a pattern capable of reversible perspective
2a(1) : the state or fact of being intellectually deceived or misled : misapprehension
(2) : an instance of such deception
b obsolete : the action of deceiving
3 : a fine plain transparent bobbinet or tulle usually made of silk and used for veils, trimmings, and dresses

Illustration of illusion

Illustration of illusion

illusion 1a(1): a and b are equal in length

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Other Words from illusion

illusional \ i-​ˈlüzh-​nəl How to pronounce illusional (audio) , -​ˈlü-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for illusion

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

Allusion and Illusion

Allusion and illusion may share some portion of their ancestry (both words come in part from the Latin word ludere, meaning “to play”), and sound quite similar, but they are distinct words with very different meanings. An allusion is an indirect reference, whereas an illusion is something that is unreal or incorrect. Each of the nouns has a related verb form: allude “to refer indirectly to,” and illude (not a very common word), which may mean “to delude or deceive” or “to subject to an illusion.”

Examples of illusion in a Sentence

The video game is designed to give the illusion that you are in control of an airplane. They used paint to create the illusion of metal. She says that all progress is just an illusion.
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Recent Examples on the Web

To open up a small, cramped bathroom, West installed floor-to-ceiling mirrors, drawing the eye upward to create the illusion of sky-high ceilings. Helen Carefoot, Twin Cities, "How to decorate with mirrors without turning your home into a fun house," 29 June 2019 The illusion Taddeo creates is that there actually is no journalist at work here–no author, no thesis. Lea Carpenter, Time, "A Writer Followed 3 Women's Sex Lives for Nearly a Decade. The Result Is a Compelling Portrait of Desire," 27 June 2019 The infinity pool provides a scenic illusion over drinks by the bar. Oyin Adedoyin, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore area pools that fit every mood," 25 June 2019 Highlights include comedy magic, illusions and juggling along with balloon sculptures, puppetry and audience participation, Sign up for Summer Reading at the children’s desk, before or after attending the event, to earn prizes for reading. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Golf tournament raises money for The Elizabeth Hospice," 24 June 2019 Some spirits are limited to illusions and mind tricks, others have powers such as telekinesis … but only sometimes? Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "'Annabelle Comes Home' review: Basically, it's an R-rated 'Jumanji' with creepier CGI," 24 June 2019 Deaths don’t matter, as the timeline fractures across illusions and flashbacks. Ew Staff, EW.com, "What to Watch on Monday: Release your inhibitions, MTV's The Hills is back!," 24 June 2019 Dreamy Neptune's retrograde is only starting to ramp up, bringing clarity to our goals and removing illusions. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 23 June 2019 That is why Hong Kongers are without illusion today. The Economist, "To restore calm in Hong Kong, try democracy," 20 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for illusion

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin illusion-, illusio, from Latin, action of mocking, from illudere to mock at, from in- + ludere to play, mock — more at ludicrous

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Learn More about illusion

Dictionary Entries near illusion

illus

ill-usage

ill-use

illusion

illusionary

illusioned

illusionism

Statistics for illusion

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for illusion

The first known use of illusion was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for illusion

illusion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of illusion

: something that looks or seems different from what it is : something that is false or not real but that seems to be true or real
: an incorrect idea : an idea that is based on something that is not true

illusion

noun
il·​lu·​sion | \ i-ˈlü-zhən How to pronounce illusion (audio) \

Kids Definition of illusion

1 : something that is false or unreal but seems to be true or real The video game creates the illusion of flying.
2 : a mistaken idea She had no illusions about her chances of winning.

illusion

noun
il·​lu·​sion | \ il-ˈü-zhən How to pronounce illusion (audio) \

Medical Definition of illusion

1 : a misleading image presented as a visual stimulus
2a : perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature especially : optical illusion — compare delusion sense 2
c : a pattern capable of reversible perspective

Other Words from illusion

illusional \ -​ˈüzh-​nəl, -​ən-​ᵊl How to pronounce illusional (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on illusion

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