Definition of mirage
1 : an optical (see optical 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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Examples of mirage in a Sentence
A peaceful solution proved to be a mirage.
Recent Examples of mirage from the Web
That’s a mirage, say experts — and in some cases, a mistake.
Everything’s an illusion; that’s the whole thing about it—illusion, imitation, mirage …
But that was just a mirage, as Hector Rondon and Davis struggled in the ninth, making things interesting.
But experts say the fix, which looks fine on paper, is a mirage.
Converting 80.6% of his free throws provides some encouragement the shooting uptick wasn’t merely a mirage.
For the slow exploration of these roads yields a trove of discoveries: An oasis where the mouth of an underground spring feeds a grove of palm trees with fronds as green as a desert mirage.
The soundless images featured a couple of people blurrily making food in a mirthless mirage.
Between the intense competition in the series and the minuscule margin for error in an Indy car, perfection often seems more like a mirage than anything actually attainable.
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.
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").
Origin and Etymology of mirage
French, from mirer to look at, from Latin mirari
First Known Use: 1800See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of mirage
MIRAGE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mirage for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of mirage for Students
: 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
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
Seen and Heard
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