il·​lu·​so·​ry | \ i-ˈlüs-rē How to pronounce illusory (audio) , -ˈlüz-; -ˈlü-sə-, -zə- \

Definition of illusory

: based on or producing illusion : deceptive illusory hopes

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Other Words from illusory

illusorily \ i-​ˈlüs-​rə-​lē How to pronounce illusorily (audio) , -​ˈlüz-​ ; -​ˈlü-​sə-​ , -​zə-​ \ adverb
illusoriness \ i-​ˈlüs-​rē-​nəs How to pronounce illusoriness (audio) , -​ˈlüz-​ ; -​ˈlü-​sə-​ , -​zə-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of illusory in a Sentence

an illusory sense of security
Recent Examples on the Web The concept of money might be the greatest illusory trick of all time. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Is the SushiSwap saga a preview of a new wave of crypto chaos?," 9 Sep. 2020 That sense of comfort, though, is almost certainly illusory. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "The Anti-Democratic Origins of Voter Prediction," 8 Sep. 2020 The decades-old dream of zipping around in the sky as simply as driving on highways may be becoming less illusory., "Japan's 'Flying Car' Gets Off Ground, With a Person Aboard," 29 Aug. 2020 And his policies on the defining issues of our time are too often empty, even illusory. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "A Vacuous Pompeo Speech for an Empty Trump Foreign Policy," 26 Aug. 2020 On the left, though, there’s a growing insistence that American faith in a thus-far illusory Palestinian state is obscuring the more urgent and real concerns of a Palestinian population living for decades under occupation. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "How the Democrats are shifting on Israel," 19 Aug. 2020 Why should people be taxed on gains that are purely illusory? Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Note: Individual Investors, Inflation & the Invisible Hand," 11 Aug. 2020 What remains a mystery is how the females avoid falling prey to their species’ own illusory tactics and remain capable of choosing their mate. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Illusionist Frog Attracts Mates Without Unwanted Attention From Predators," 7 May 2020 In the past few weeks, President Donald Trump and other officials have claimed that the rise in cases is illusory and due solely to an increase in testing. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "The Second Coronavirus Surge Is Here," 25 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of illusory

circa 1631, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for illusory

Time Traveler

The first known use of illusory was circa 1631

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Statistics for illusory

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Illusory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for illusory


How to pronounce illusory (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of illusory

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


il·​lu·​so·​ry | \ i-ˈlü-sə-rē How to pronounce illusory (audio) \

Kids Definition of illusory

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


il·​lu·​so·​ry | \ il-ˈüs-(ə-)rē How to pronounce illusory (audio) , -ˈüz- How to pronounce illusory (audio) \

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

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il·​lu·​so·​ry | \ i-ˈlü-sə-rē, -zə-rē How to pronounce illusory (audio) \

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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