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[huh-loo-suh-ney-shuh n] /həˌlu səˈneɪ ʃən/
a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images.
the sensation caused by a hallucinatory condition or the object or scene visualized.
a false notion, belief, or impression; illusion; delusion.
1640-50; < Latin hallūcinātiōn- (stem of (h)allūcinātiō) a wandering of the mind. See hallucinate, -ion
Related forms
hallucinational, hallucinative
[huh-loo-suh-ney-tiv, -nuh-tiv] /həˈlu səˌneɪ tɪv, -nə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
nonhallucination, noun
Can be confused
allusion, delusion, elusion, hallucination, illusion (see synonym study at illusion)
1. phantasm, aberration. See illusion. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hallucinations
  • Perception increases to fill the gap vacated by the senses and gives rise to powerful hallucinations.
  • The mysterious floating orbs might simply be hallucinations caused by brains overstimulated by magnetism, a new study suggests.
  • The drug acts as a stimulant and causes hallucinations and disorientation.
  • Suppose a mirror, for instance,-hallucinations are so easily produced.
  • He was subject to epilepsy, and had strange hallucinations.
  • He also began hearing unlikely oscillations in the ringing: aural hallucinations.
  • He lived nearby, unable to work, relying on powerful medication to keep the voices and hallucinations at bay.
  • Since aging leads to diminished eyesight, these hallucinations are particularly common among the old.
  • It is also widely abused because it produces hallucinations and can trigger an out-of-body experience at higher doses.
  • Coffee and diet pills kept her going, but also gave her hallucinations.
British Dictionary definitions for hallucinations


the alleged perception of an object when no object is present, occurring under hypnosis, in some mental disorders, etc
Derived Forms
hallucinational, hallucinative, hallucinatory, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hallucinations



in the pathological/psychological sense of "seeing or hearing something which is not there," 1640s, from Latin hallucinationem (nominative hallucinatio), from past participle stem of hallucinari (see hallucinate). Hallucination is distinct from illusion in not necessarily involving a false belief. Related: Hallucinations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hallucinations in Medicine

hallucination hal·lu·ci·na·tion (hə-lōō'sə-nā'shən)

  1. False or distorted perception of objects or events with a compelling sense of their reality, usually resulting from a mental disorder or drug.

  2. The objects or events so perceived.

hal·lu'ci·nate' v.
hal·lu'ci·na'tion·al or hal·lu'ci·na'tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hallucinations in Culture

hallucination definition

A false perception that appears to be real, as when, for example, a man dying of thirst in a desert thinks that he sees a lake. (See also delusion.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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