• synonyms


[ih-loo-suh-ree, -zuh-]
  1. causing illusion; deceptive; misleading.
  2. of the nature of an illusion; unreal.
Show More

Origin of illusory

1590–1600; < Late Latin illūsōrius, equivalent to illūd(ere) to mock, ridicule (see illusion) + -tōrius -tory1
Related formsil·lu·so·ri·ly, adverbil·lu·so·ri·ness, nounun·il·lu·so·ry, adjective
Can be confusedelusive illusory


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for illusoriness

Historical Examples

  • The secret of the illusoriness is in the necessity of a succession of moods or objects.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The thought of brevity naturally draws after it that of illusoriness.

  • That which is brought home to him is the illusoriness and hollowness of things when taken in the spirit of active endeavor.

    The Approach to Philosophy

    Ralph Barton Perry

  • If it is claimed that this meaning is illusory, I eagerly desire to know on what solid ground its illusoriness can be established.

British Dictionary definitions for illusoriness


illusive (ɪˈluːsɪv)

  1. producing, produced by, or based on illusion; deceptive or unreal
Show More
Derived Formsillusorily or illusively, adverbillusoriness or illusiveness, noun


Illusive is sometimes wrongly used where elusive is meant: they fought hard, but victory remained elusive (not illusive)
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 illusoriness



1590s, from French illusorie, from Late Latin illusorius "ironical, of a mocking character," from illus-, past participle stem of Latin illudere "mock at," literally "to play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper