Definition of illusion in English:

illusion

noun

  • 1An instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.

    ‘stripes embellish the surface to create the illusion of various wood-grain textures’
    • ‘The new technology uses a principle known as ‘wave field synthesis’ to create complex audio illusions for everyone within a defined space.’
    • ‘The intoxicated state is characterized by illusions, visual hallucinations and bodily distortions.’
    • ‘This artist is known for creating the most amazing visual illusions.’
    • ‘Depersonalization, heightened perception, especially to light and sound, and illusions are also commonly reported.’
    • ‘Also, don't forget to take a look at the optical illusions books below.’
    • ‘Her photos are viewed through an old stereoscope, which creates wonderful visual illusions.’
    • ‘The same is true for visual illusions, hypoxia and other factors affecting interpretation as the brain receives information from the eyes.’
    • ‘They may have been linked to various illusions that can be experienced.’
    • ‘One might suppose that this preview allowed participants to notice and adjust for the effect of the illusion.’
    • ‘In addition, not all illusions are completely understood.’
    • ‘In any case, puzzle fanatics will enjoy the many riddles, illusions, cryptograms and other mind-benders offered for analysis.’
    • ‘Vivid hallucinations and delirious illusions may also occur.’
    • ‘Pilots are also trained to understand and avoid visual illusions, perceptions that differ from the way things really are.’
    • ‘I wowed him with an illusion involving a silk scarf and a cup with a false bottom.’
    • ‘In this sense, the illusions that are attributed to the senses always involve false judgement.’
    • ‘They also experienced visual illusions such as real objects appearing to move or pulsate.’
    • ‘For more illusions and to understand the science behind them I highly recommend visiting this amazing website.’
    • ‘When we peer out into the world is all that we see potentially a confabulation - a grand visual illusion staged by our brain?’
    • ‘Hallucinations and illusions are disturbances of perception that are common in people suffering from schizophrenia.’
    • ‘The pub was decked up with a lot of theme decor and bizarre visual illusions.’
    mirage, hallucination, apparition, phantasm, phantom, vision, spectre, fantasy, figment of the imagination, will-o'-the-wisp, trick of the light
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A deceptive appearance or impression.
      ‘the illusion of family togetherness’
      • ‘However, you will live in a metaphysical world, where reality and illusions will be so skewed that they will appear to be identical.’
      • ‘That, of course, adds to the illusion surrounding the arrangement, which is the idea.’
      • ‘So what if the idea is to create the illusion of total surveillance, so that people behave?’
      • ‘The progress of the film is a progress through illusion and deception toward reality and truth.’
      • ‘But even today, Romanians still live with the realities behind the illusion.’
      • ‘History was a realm of illusions, a dream or a nightmare from which the wise seek to awaken.’
      • ‘Behind the veil of these illusions lay a harsher reality.’
      • ‘Does that mean that neuroscience tells us that free will is an illusion?’
      • ‘Young men being excited about war is nothing new - and having their illusions shattered by the reality of it is nothing new either.’
      • ‘There is something about the screen that gives the illusion of trustworthiness.’
      • ‘As an historian - certainly as a woman - she had not the slightest romantic illusions about the realities of human life during the long childhood of the species.’
      • ‘The trick to create the illusion of longer legs is to draw the eye upwards.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, Britain and Europe are all too eager to pretend that such illusions are reality.’
      • ‘Both audio and visuals support the illusion that Becker is trying to create.’
      • ‘However, it also caused an illusion of repetition for items presented only once.’
      • ‘As illusions fade and the reality of East Timor's predicament becomes apparent, social tensions and class antagonisms will rapidly deepen.’
      • ‘All my illusions of a perfect family had been shattered.’
      • ‘Or at least give the illusion of doing so, until a better idea comes along.’
      • ‘Its carbon arc lamp doesn't shoot light through filmstrips to create the illusion of movement.’
      • ‘The apparent relativity of the moral impulse is an illusion which is created by the mind for the mind's own purposes.’
    2. 1.2A false idea or belief.
      ‘he had no illusions about the trouble she was in’
      • ‘People do buy into the illusion that they can experience a little dusting of celeb glamour by lining the pockets of already rich stars.’
      • ‘We were at least under the illusion that we could have an idea, have a style, that wouldn't immediately be sold back to us.’
      • ‘Our world will appear to crumble as we know it, as distractions, false voices, illusions and misconceptions will be taken away from us.’
      • ‘The library and police department also keep his number on file, but he doesn't harbor any illusions about his popularity.’
      • ‘And yet the abundance of God is a belief that both consoles our fears and deconstructs the illusions that hold us captive.’
      • ‘Man and house are thus a perfect match, as all the characters trapped in their own illusions and false expectations of Sancher end up more hurt than healed.’
      • ‘I watch icons smash and belief systems shatter and the illusions which have poisoned my mind begin to retreat.’
      • ‘Because if He wouldn't do that, we'd just remain stuck in our illusions, unclear on the idea that God can do it all.’
      • ‘But the biggest illusion is the idea that travelling on your own is all that wonderful.’
      • ‘Iyer spoke of ideas and illusions of India, of the mundane in one locale becoming the exotic in another.’
      • ‘We've got to somehow - my own preference is to say we have to understand how we got to the illusion.’
      • ‘Believing that our beliefs are illusions, however, is self-refuting.’
      • ‘Its best to let go expectations and illusions about yourself.’
      • ‘Participating in new formations alongside leading figures who still have reformist ideas, it is claimed, will spread illusions in people with damaging politics.’
      • ‘He gives us a more troubled world, one with few illusions but still possessed of ideals, as Hitler's war machine draws its net around what is left of Europe.’
      • ‘Many people today, however, cling to the illusion that gaining material wealth will be the key to all their problems.’
      • ‘To successfully pass this test we must face it properly without false illusions.’
      • ‘Great acting skills may not be one of his attributes, but then Fardeen is at least not under any false illusions.’
      • ‘Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions.’
      • ‘‘I don't have any illusions about the importance of writing stories,’ he added.’

Phrases

  • be under the illusion that

    • Believe mistakenly that.

      ‘the world is under the illusion that the original painting still hangs in the Winter Palace’
      • ‘But nobody, including the minister, was under the illusion that this was anything other than pathetic.’
      • ‘None of the audiences that came to John Bentley's School Hall for the four nights last week were under the illusion that the show was anything but amateur.’
      • ‘The Popular Unity's supporters were under the illusion that once in power it would fulfil the promise of profound political and socio-economic change.’
      • ‘I was under the illusion that things were getting better.’
      • ‘Many farmers were under the illusion that an accident can not and will not happen on their farm.’
      • ‘We were under the illusion that you could open the floodgates just as much as we wanted and no more.’
      • ‘If this woman is under the illusion that telling truth to power comes without costs, she doesn't deserve to represent any one.’
      • ‘Postulating that state leads you to surmise that because this disavowal operation swings into place, the spectator must be under the illusion that what she sees at a fiction film is the real thing.’
      • ‘Progressives have been under the illusion that if only people understood the facts, we'd be fine.’
      • ‘‘No one should be under the illusion that because a plan exists in one form today that it will be that way forever,’ he said.’
  • be under no illusion (or illusions)

    • Be fully aware of the true state of affairs.

      • ‘But I'm under no illusions, it could be taken away at any point, so I just grab it with both hands.’
      • ‘The 35-year-old is under no illusions about his situation.’
      • ‘Although young, Mr Bowen was under no illusions about what he would have to face on D-Day, not least because he was in the company of battle-hardened veterans.’
      • ‘Indeed, she is under no illusions that, left to their own democratic devices, women would freely choose the Utopia she has in mind.’
      • ‘In his writing on India, Marx shows himself under no illusions concerning the brutal and mercenary nature of British rule.’
      • ‘The 8-6 win was hard-fought and Ford is under no illusions that his side might have to grind out another win today.’
      • ‘With what's happened over the last 12 months we're under no illusions that we're going in as favourites to win the competition.’
      • ‘She says she has been greatly impressed with the efficiency of the Dundee operation but is under no illusions about the challenges facing a factory on the northern fringes of Europe.’
      • ‘We had our fair share of the game which is pleasing from my point of view but I am under no illusions how tough my job still is.’
      • ‘We are under no illusions about the challenge ahead.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘deceiving, deception’): via Old French from Latin illusio(n-), from illudere to mock, from in- against + ludere play.

Pronunciation:

illusion

/ɪˈluːʒ(ə)n/