mirage

noun
mi·​rage | \ mə-ˈräzh How to pronounce mirage (audio) \

Definition of mirage

1 : an optical (see optical sense 2a) effect that is sometimes seen at sea, in the desert, or over a hot pavement, that may have the appearance of a pool of water or a mirror in which distant objects are seen inverted, and that is caused by the bending or reflection of rays of light by a layer of heated air of varying density
2 : something illusory and unattainable like a mirage A peaceful solution proved to be a mirage.

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Choose the Right Synonym for mirage

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

Mirage and Vision

A mirage is a sort of optical illusion, a reflection of light that can trick the mind into interpreting the sight as an apparently solid thing. It makes sense, therefore, that the word mirage has its roots in the concept of vision. Mirage was borrowed into English at the dawn of the 19th century from the French verb mirer ("to look at"), which also gave us the word mirror. Mirer in turn derives from Latin mirari ("to wonder at"). Mirari is also the ancestor of the English words admire, miracle, and marvel, as well as the rare adjective mirific (meaning "marvelous").

Examples of mirage in a Sentence

A peaceful solution proved to be a mirage.
Recent Examples on the Web And even then, Riley stuck by his decisions and the duo, stressing that there still would be value from those signings, that 30-11 finish to 2016-17 no mirage. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Winderman: Money for nothing? Heat have to decide with Waiters, Johnson | Commentary," 28 Oct. 2019 Still, the Sox felt emboldened, and welcomed the chance to prove that their recent improvement is no mirage. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox win sixth in a row, but blanking mighty Twins was impressive," 17 June 2019 Tens of thousands of visitors returned once more to the annual Frieze New York art fair on Randall’s Island last weekend, where a sprawling white tent complex pops up like a mirage. Kyle Chayka, WSJ, "At Art Fairs, the Chairs Are Just as Considered as the Art," 7 May 2019 But his shining moment against the Lions could be a mirage. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 16: Last-minute moves," 22 Dec. 2019 But his shining moment against the Lions could be a mirage. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 16: Last-minute moves," 22 Dec. 2019 For Florida public school teachers who have been underpaid for far too long, the news after all these years must seem like a mirage. Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, sun-sentinel.com, "Governor’s vague teacher pay raise plan cries out for answers | Editorial," 10 Oct. 2019 But his shining moment against the Lions could be a mirage. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 16: Bench Rodgers vs. Vikings?," 18 Dec. 2019 When lost in the desert, the oasis in the distance could be a mirage. Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Value of UCLA’s win over Stanford will be measured in the weeks ahead," 17 Oct. 2019

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

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mirage

borrowed from French, from mirer "to look at, gaze at" (going back to Old French, going back to Latin mīrārī "to be surprised, look with wonder at") + -age -age — more at admire

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Time Traveler for mirage

Time Traveler

The first known use of mirage was in 1800

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Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mirage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mirage. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for mirage

mirage

noun
How to pronounce mirage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mirage

: something (such as a pool of water in the middle of a desert) that is seen and appears to be real but that is not actually there
: something that you hope for or want but that is not possible or real

mirage

noun
mi·​rage | \ mə-ˈräzh How to pronounce mirage (audio) \

Kids Definition of mirage

: an illusion sometimes seen at sea, in the desert, or over hot pavement that looks like a pool of water or a mirror in which distant objects are glimpsed

mirage

noun
mi·​rage | \ mə-ˈräzh How to pronounce mirage (audio) \

Medical Definition of mirage

: an optical effect that is sometimes seen at sea, in the desert, or over a hot pavement, that may have the appearance of a pool of water or a mirror in which distant objects are seen inverted, and that is caused by the bending or reflection of rays of light by a layer of heated air of varying density

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