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’
    • ‘In this sense, the illusions that are attributed to the senses always involve false judgement.’
    • ‘In any case, puzzle fanatics will enjoy the many riddles, illusions, cryptograms and other mind-benders offered for analysis.’
    • ‘They may have been linked to various illusions that can be experienced.’
    • ‘Her photos are viewed through an old stereoscope, which creates wonderful visual illusions.’
    • ‘One might suppose that this preview allowed participants to notice and adjust for the effect of the illusion.’
    • ‘They also experienced visual illusions such as real objects appearing to move or pulsate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The intoxicated state is characterized by illusions, visual hallucinations and bodily distortions.’
    • ‘When we peer out into the world is all that we see potentially a confabulation - a grand visual illusion staged by our brain?’
    • ‘The same is true for visual illusions, hypoxia and other factors affecting interpretation as the brain receives information from the eyes.’
    • ‘Depersonalization, heightened perception, especially to light and sound, and illusions are also commonly reported.’
    • ‘The pub was decked up with a lot of theme decor and bizarre visual illusions.’
    • ‘The new technology uses a principle known as ‘wave field synthesis’ to create complex audio illusions for everyone within a defined space.’
    • ‘In addition, not all illusions are completely understood.’
    • ‘Hallucinations and illusions are disturbances of perception that are common in people suffering from schizophrenia.’
    • ‘Also, don't forget to take a look at the optical illusions books below.’
    • ‘This artist is known for creating the most amazing visual illusions.’
    • ‘I wowed him with an illusion involving a silk scarf and a cup with a false bottom.’
    • ‘For more illusions and to understand the science behind them I highly recommend visiting this amazing website.’
    mirage, hallucination, apparition, phantasm, phantom, vision, spectre, fantasy, figment of the imagination, will-o'-the-wisp, trick of the light
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    1. 1.1 A deceptive appearance or impression.
      ‘the illusion of family togetherness’
      • ‘Its carbon arc lamp doesn't shoot light through filmstrips to create the illusion of movement.’
      • ‘But even today, Romanians still live with the realities behind the illusion.’
      • ‘Young men being excited about war is nothing new - and having their illusions shattered by the reality of it is nothing new either.’
      • ‘So what if the idea is to create the illusion of total surveillance, so that people behave?’
      • ‘That, of course, adds to the illusion surrounding the arrangement, which is the idea.’
      • ‘History was a realm of illusions, a dream or a nightmare from which the wise seek to awaken.’
      • ‘The apparent relativity of the moral impulse is an illusion which is created by the mind for the mind's own purposes.’
      • ‘Behind the veil of these illusions lay a harsher reality.’
      • ‘However, you will live in a metaphysical world, where reality and illusions will be so skewed that they will appear to be identical.’
      • ‘All my illusions of a perfect family had been shattered.’
      • ‘Does that mean that neuroscience tells us that free will is an illusion?’
      • ‘Unfortunately, Britain and Europe are all too eager to pretend that such illusions are reality.’
      • ‘There is something about the screen that gives the illusion of trustworthiness.’
      • ‘Both audio and visuals support the illusion that Becker is trying to create.’
      • ‘As illusions fade and the reality of East Timor's predicament becomes apparent, social tensions and class antagonisms will rapidly deepen.’
      • ‘The trick to create the illusion of longer legs is to draw the eye upwards.’
      • ‘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 progress of the film is a progress through illusion and deception toward reality and truth.’
      • ‘However, it also caused an illusion of repetition for items presented only once.’
      • ‘Or at least give the illusion of doing so, until a better idea comes along.’
      appearance, impression, imitation, semblance, pretence, sham
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    2. 1.2 A false idea or belief.
      ‘he had no illusions about the trouble she was in’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And yet the abundance of God is a belief that both consoles our fears and deconstructs the illusions that hold us captive.’
      • ‘People do buy into the illusion that they can experience a little dusting of celeb glamour by lining the pockets of already rich stars.’
      • ‘Our world will appear to crumble as we know it, as distractions, false voices, illusions and misconceptions will be taken away from us.’
      • ‘But the biggest illusion is the idea that travelling on your own is all that wonderful.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Iyer spoke of ideas and illusions of India, of the mundane in one locale becoming the exotic in another.’
      • ‘The library and police department also keep his number on file, but he doesn't harbor any illusions about his popularity.’
      • ‘To successfully pass this test we must face it properly without false illusions.’
      • ‘I watch icons smash and belief systems shatter and the illusions which have poisoned my mind begin to retreat.’
      • ‘Great acting skills may not be one of his attributes, but then Fardeen is at least not under any false illusions.’
      • ‘Participating in new formations alongside leading figures who still have reformist ideas, it is claimed, will spread illusions in people with damaging politics.’
      • ‘Many people today, however, cling to the illusion that gaining material wealth will be the key to all their problems.’
      • ‘We've got to somehow - my own preference is to say we have to understand how we got to the illusion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Believing that our beliefs are illusions, however, is self-refuting.’
      • ‘‘I don't have any illusions about the importance of writing stories,’ he added.’
      • ‘Its best to let go expectations and illusions about yourself.’
      • ‘Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions.’
      • ‘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.’
      delusion, misapprehension, misconception, deception, false impression, mistaken impression
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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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We were under the illusion that you could open the floodgates just as much as we wanted and no more.’
      • ‘I was under the illusion that things were getting better.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Progressives have been under the illusion that if only people understood the facts, we'd be fine.’
      • ‘If this woman is under the illusion that telling truth to power comes without costs, she doesn't deserve to represent any one.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘Many farmers were under the illusion that an accident can not and will not happen on their farm.’
      • ‘But nobody, including the minister, was under the illusion that this was anything other than pathetic.’
  • be under no illusion (or illusions)

    • Be fully aware of the true state of affairs.

      • ‘We are under no illusions about the challenge ahead.’
      • ‘Indeed, she is under no illusions that, left to their own democratic devices, women would freely choose the Utopia she has in mind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The 35-year-old is under no illusions about his situation.’
      • ‘But I'm under no illusions, it could be taken away at any point, so I just grab it with both hands.’

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/