Synonyms & Antonyms of illusion

1 a conception or image created by the imagination and having no objective reality
  • the magician specializes in creating illusions, so that people believe they have seen something when they really haven't

Synonyms for illusion

Words Related to illusion

Phrases Synonymous with illusion

Near Antonyms for illusion

2 a false idea or belief
  • he had no illusions about how much effort and money the renovation project would require

Synonyms for illusion

Words Related to illusion

Antonyms for illusion

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About illusion

How does the noun illusion contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of illusion are delusion, hallucination, and mirage. While all these words mean "something that is believed to be true or real but that is actually false or unreal," illusion implies a false ascribing of reality based on what one sees or imagines.

an illusion of safety

When is delusion a more appropriate choice than illusion?

While the synonyms delusion and illusion are close in meaning, 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

When could hallucination be used to replace illusion?

In some situations, the words hallucination and illusion are roughly equivalent. However, hallucination implies impressions that are the product of disordered senses, as because of mental illness or drugs.

suffered from terrifying hallucinations

When might mirage be a better fit than illusion?

The words mirage and illusion are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mirage in its extended sense applies to an illusory vision, dream, hope, or aim.

claimed a balanced budget is a mirage

Learn More About illusion

Time Traveler for illusion

Time Traveler

The first known use of illusion was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near illusion




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Illusion.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on illusion

Nglish: Translation of illusion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of illusion for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about illusion


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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