[ ih-loo-suh-ree, -zuh- ]
/ ɪˈlu sə ri, -zə- /


causing illusion; deceptive; misleading.
of the nature of an illusion; unreal.

Nearby words

  1. illusionary,
  2. illusionism,
  3. illusionist,
  4. illusive,
  5. illusively,
  6. illust.,
  7. illustrate,
  8. illustrated,
  9. illustration,
  10. illustrational

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for illusory

British Dictionary definitions for illusory


illusive (ɪˈluːsɪv)

/ (ɪˈluːsərɪ) /


producing, produced by, or based on illusion; deceptive or unreal
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 illusory



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper