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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.
Origin of hallucination
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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hallucination
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Absolute equality is an hallucination of the hunger-fever, nothing more.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • All at once, however, Claude fancied he was the victim of some hallucination.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • He could not believe that Spurling had ever come; it was all an hallucination.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson
  • The simple matter is, dear madam, you have been under a hallucination all along.

  • When he saw her approaching he always had a moment of hallucination.

    Within the Tides Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for hallucination


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 hallucination

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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hallucination 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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hallucination 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 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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