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illusion

[ih-loo-zhuh n] /ɪˈlu ʒən/
noun
1.
something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.
2.
the state or condition of being deceived; misapprehension.
3.
an instance of being deceived.
4.
Psychology. a perception, as of visual stimuli (optical illusion) that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality.
5.
a very thin, delicate tulle of silk or nylon having a cobwebbed appearance, for trimmings, veilings, and the like.
6.
Obsolete. the act of deceiving; deception; delusion.
Origin of illusion
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin illūsiōn- (stem of illūsiō) irony, mocking, equivalent to illūs(us) past participle of illūdere to mock, ridicule (il- il-1 + lūd- play (see ludicrous) + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > s) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
illusioned, adjective
Can be confused
allusion, delusion, elusion, hallucination, illusion (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
1. aberration, fantasy, chimera. illusion, hallucination, delusion refer to false perceptions or ideas. An illusion is a false mental image produced by misinterpretation of things that actually exist: A mirage is an illusion produced by reflection of light against the sky. A hallucination is a perception of a thing or quality that has no physical counterpart: Under the influence of LSD, Terry had hallucinations that the living-room floor was rippling. A delusion is a persistent false belief: A paranoiac has delusions of persecution.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for illusion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Persons can retain a hobby or an illusion for a time or for all time.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • There was none of the illusion of separation; he was always there, like Katie.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Allowance should be made for this illusion in comparing fruit with illustration.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • "Sir, you break the illusion of the scene," mildly remonstrates the showman.

    Main Street Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • By the strong bond of illusion the living and the dead were bound together.

    Japanese Fairy Tales Grace James
British Dictionary definitions for illusion

illusion

/ɪˈluːʒən/
noun
1.
a false appearance or deceptive impression of reality: the mirror gives an illusion of depth
2.
a false or misleading perception or belief; delusion: he has the illusion that he is really clever
3.
(psychol) a perception that is not true to reality, having been altered subjectively in some way in the mind of the perceiver See also hallucination
4.
a very fine gauze or tulle used for trimmings, veils, etc
Derived Forms
illusionary, illusional, adjective
illusioned, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin illūsiō deceit, from illūdere; see illude
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 illusion
n.

mid-14c., "act of deception," from Old French illusion "a mocking, deceit, deception" (12c.), from Latin illusionem (nominative illusio) "a mocking, jesting, irony," from illudere "mock at," literally "to play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Sense of "deceptive appearance" developed in Church Latin and was attested in English by late 14c. Related: Illusioned "full of illusions" (1920).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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illusion in Medicine

illusion il·lu·sion (ĭ-lōō'zhən)
n.

  1. An erroneous perception of reality.

  2. An erroneous concept or belief.

  3. The condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief.

  4. Something, such as a fantastic plan or desire, that causes an erroneous belief or perception.


il·lu'sion·al or il·lu'sion·ar'y (-zhə-něr'ē) 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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