self-de·​lu·​sion ˌself-di-ˈlü-zhən How to pronounce self-delusion (audio)
plural self-delusions
: the act of deluding oneself or the state of being deluded by oneself especially concerning one's true nature, abilities, feelings, etc.
My god-given talent for self-delusion keeps me believing that the increasing amount of time I spend alone is of my own choice …Matthew Ritger
They know what they are doing is wrong. And it's our job to remind them of it. Because when we don't continually remind them, people devolve into self-delusion.Jessica Valenti
: a delusion that one has concerning oneself
… a star of immense talent who harbored no self-delusions.Eric Marchese

Examples of self-delusion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For a couple of decades, he’s been shooting short videos (with the help of collaborators) around Chicago and New York City that raise self-delusion to an art, with a hint of Borat. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 3 July 2024 The fissures between family members over what to do about that discovery reveal a whole spectrum of willful American self-delusion and cynicism, carefully shaded by Lila Neugebauer’s precise naturalist direction. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 8 Apr. 2024 Talk about the United States as the most open or competitive economy in the world is a form of self-delusion. Adam S. Posen, Foreign Affairs, 20 Apr. 2021 The story of Némirovsky’s own efforts to secure protection from Vichy France would have neatly complemented the narratives of vanity and self-delusion that define the novel. James Heffernan, The New York Review of Books, 18 Jan. 2024 Yes, the film is filled with self-delusion and unethical behavior, not just on Gracie’s part, but Elizabeth’s. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 In my view, the book is best read as a portrait of self-delusion. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2023 Our lives, even our most intimate ones, Hill suggests, are susceptible to a series of false narratives, propped up by conspiracy theories, placebo effects and self-delusion. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 But being a Tomato Girl is just as much a mindset: a self-delusion that real life can be a holiday, even when you’re stuck at home. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 24 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-delusion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-delusion was in 1625

Dictionary Entries Near self-delusion

Cite this Entry

“Self-delusion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!