illusory

adjective il·lu·so·ry \ i-ˈlüs-rē , -ˈlüz- ; -ˈlü-sə- , -zə- \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

Definition of illusory

: based on or producing illusion : deceptive
  • illusory hopes

illusorily

play \i-ˈlüs-rə-lē, -ˈlüz-; -ˈlü-sə-, -zə-\ adverb

illusoriness

play \i-ˈlüs-rē-nəs, -ˈlüz-; -ˈlü-sə-, -zə-\ noun

Examples of illusory in a Sentence

  1. an illusory sense of security

Recent Examples of illusory from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illusory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of illusory

circa 1631

Synonym Discussion of illusory

apparent, illusory, seeming, ostensible mean not actually being what appearance indicates. apparent suggests appearance to unaided senses that may or may not be borne out by more rigorous examination or greater knowledge.
    • the apparent cause of the accident
illusory implies a false impression based on deceptive resemblance or faulty observation, or influenced by emotions that prevent a clear view.
    • an illusory sense of security
seeming implies a character in the thing observed that gives it the appearance, sometimes through intent, of something else.
    • the seeming simplicity of the story
ostensible suggests a discrepancy between an openly declared or naturally implied aim or reason and the true one.
    • the ostensible reason for their visit

ILLUSORY Defined for English Language Learners

illusory

adjective

Definition of illusory for English Language Learners

  • : based on something that is not true or real : based on an illusion


ILLUSORY Defined for Kids

illusory

adjective il·lu·so·ry \ i-ˈlü-sə-rē \

Definition of illusory for Students

: based on something that is not true or real
  • an illusory hope

Medical Dictionary

illusory

adjective il·lu·so·ry \ il-ˈüs-(ə-)rē , -ˈüz- \

medical Definition of illusory

: based on or producing illusion : being deceptive
  • the search for the ultimate cure-all for a hangover has proved illusory
  • —M. L. Herndon

Law Dictionary

illusory

adjective il·lu·so·ry \ i-ˈlü-sə-rē, -zə-rē \

legal Definition of illusory

: likely to mislead or deceive : false, deceptive
  • an illusory plea bargain leading to a longer sentence than expected

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