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déjà vu

[dey-zhah voo, vyoo; French dey-zha vy]
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noun
  1. Psychology. the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.
  2. disagreeable familiarity or sameness: The new television season had a sense of déjà vu about it—the same old plots and characters with new names.

Origin of déjà vu

1900–05; < French: literally, already seen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for deja vu

déjà vu

noun
  1. the experience of perceiving a new situation as if it had occurred before. It is sometimes associated with exhaustion or certain types of mental disorder

Word Origin

from French, literally: already seen
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

Word Origin and History for deja vu

1903, from French déjà vu, literally "already seen." The phenomenon also is known as promnesia. Similar phenomena are déjà entendu "already heard" (of music, etc.), 1965; and déjà lu "already read."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deja vu in Culture

déjà vu

[(day-zhah vooh)]

The strange sensation that something one is now experiencing has happened before: “I knew I had never been in the house before, but as I walked up the staircase, I got a weird sense of déjà vu.” From French, meaning “already seen.”

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