Psychology. the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.
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.
the sense or feeling of having previously experienced something that really has been encountered before: It was déjà vu at the bobsled track today as the U.S. team again claimed the top podium positions.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use déjà vu in a sentence
You’d be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu right now if you’re just tuning into today’s primaries in Virginia.It’s Eerily Like 2009 in Virginia’s Gubernatorial Primary | Philip Elliott | June 8, 2021 | Time
Nepal’s positivity rate is inching closer to 50 percent of all those tested, in what is starting to feel like déjà vu as the country tracks almost exactly the same trajectory India did two weeks ago.Indians Run for the Exits, Taking COVID Risks With Them to Nepal, Dubai From a Dying Nation | Barbie Latza Nadeau | May 7, 2021 | The Daily Beast
Stung by the departure of the Chargers and the half-dozen failed stadium plans that proceeded it, and the failed SoccerCity plan that followed it, San Diego’s most ardent sports fans experienced déjà vu.Politics Report: Hotel Union Leader to Lead Union Leaders | Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts | March 27, 2021 | Voice of San Diego
Investors who were around in 2009 might be having déjà vu this year.The S&P 500 has been eerily mirroring 2009 for months. Now, here’s what might be in store for December | Anne Sraders | December 1, 2020 | Fortune
The allegations against big tech in the US antitrust hearings this week had a feeling of déjà vu for India.The US antitrust hearings on big tech have an important lesson for India | Ananya Bhattacharya | July 31, 2020 | Quartz
Its old guard pushed back Monday, and I felt a powerful jolt of deja vu: Didn't the Pentagon just run this experiment?
A few minutes later, I understand why it all feels like a round of deja vu.The Upper West Side Celebrates An Imaginary Israel’s Birthday | Vered Kellner | April 15, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Much of the rest of the debate provided a sense of deja vu.
Which is great for me, I don't want to do deja vu all over again.
So my fears were not as unfounded as I had thought, was my predestined deja vu, then, real as well?The Revolutions of Time | Jonathan Dunn
Perhaps it was only a case of predestined deja vu, or maybe it was something less tangible.The Revolutions of Time | Jonathan Dunn
"Just a minute," Mallory interrupted, thoroughly bewildered and simultaneously afflicted with an irrational sense of deja vu.A Knyght Ther Was | Robert F. Young
Going back, when you've been away long enough, is not so much a homecoming as a dream deja vu.Exile from Space | Judith Merril
British Dictionary definitions for déjà vu
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
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
Cultural definitions for déjà vu
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.