- something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.
- the state or condition of being deceived; misapprehension.
- an instance of being deceived.
- 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.
- a very thin, delicate tulle of silk or nylon having a cobwebbed appearance, for trimmings, veilings, and the like.
- Obsolete. the act of deceiving; deception; delusion.
Origin of illusion
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for illusion
It was followed by several told-you-so articles with titles like “Have No Illusion: Islam Is the Enemy.”Europe’s Islam Haters Say We Told You So
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 8, 2015
Traditional coach seats gave the illusion of comfortable padding but were angular, not reflecting body shapes.Flying Coach Is the New Hell: How Airlines Engineer You Out of Room
November 25, 2014
And we are under no illusion that this state of affairs is confined to one battalion.Corruption Eats Away at Ukraine Military
October 21, 2014
You said, “freedom of speech is an illusion” and “freedom of assembly is an illusion.”
Democracy is an illusion, freedom of speech is an illusion, freedom of assembly is an illusion.
Where his real self was he did not know, so he toyed with the illusion.Viviette
William J. Locke
There was none of the illusion of separation; he was always there, like Katie.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
It was merely a semblance, which effaced itself; the vanishing of an illusion.The Dream
"Sir, you break the illusion of the scene," mildly remonstrates the showman.Main Street
Illusion is always in the market and can be had on easy terms.The Call of the Twentieth Century
David Starr Jordan
- a false appearance or deceptive impression of realitythe mirror gives an illusion of depth
- a false or misleading perception or belief; delusionhe has the illusion that he is really clever
- psychol a perception that is not true to reality, having been altered subjectively in some way in the mind of the perceiverSee also hallucination
- a very fine gauze or tulle used for trimmings, veils, etc
Word Origin and History for illusion
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).
- An erroneous perception of reality.
- An erroneous concept or belief.
- The condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief.
- Something, such as a fantastic plan or desire, that causes an erroneous belief or perception.