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


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

Origin of illusory

1590–1600; < Late Latin illūsōrius, equivalent to illūd(ere) to mock, ridicule (see illusion) + -tōrius -tory1

Related forms

il·lu·so·ri·ly, adverbil·lu·so·ri·ness, nounun·il·lu·so·ry, adjective

Can be confused

elusive 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 Forms

illusorily 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