Definition of mirage in English:

mirage

Pronunciation /ˈmɪrɑːʒ//mɪˈrɑːʒ/

noun

  • 1An optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions, especially the appearance of a sheet of water in a desert or on a hot road caused by the refraction of light from the sky by heated air.

    ‘the surface of the road ahead rippled in the heat mirages’
    • ‘Due to the unpredictability of mirages, these lights can seem to move quickly through the sky and suddenly vanish.’
    • ‘But like a sand-crusted desert crawler, forging his way towards a shimmering mirage of water, I found myself on the first day of my arrival scavenging for bagels.’
    • ‘Malaysia's hot pursuit a fortnight ago appeared like a mirage in Bahrain's desert expanse.’
    • ‘In the heat of the day it spreads a mirage of water over the horizon.’
    • ‘In the heat mirage, it is hard to tell which cars are real and which are not, and the roadside wrecks, crushed flat like compacted drinks cans, are testimony to many a fatal illusion.’
    • ‘But he said it was unclear whether the bulge indicated a jagged break in the wing or a mirage caused by atmospheric distortion.’
    • ‘Across it, turrets of the small white mosque seemed as insubstantial as the wobbling outlines of a heat mirage.’
    • ‘Yes, people had mirages in the desert, but what she was describing was clearly no mirage.’
    • ‘A mirage is caused by a small refraction of light near a hot surface.’
    • ‘They're so thirsty for it, they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there is no water, they'll drink the sand.’
    • ‘At first glance, the Salton Sea appears like a glistening mirage in the California desert - a shimmering landscape of reflected sky and sand.’
    • ‘Seeing nothing at all except the distant silver mirages and heat shimmers he once again eased his mount forward.’
    • ‘Their eyes are blinded: they will not see that their visions are as baseless and disappointing as the mirage of the African desert.’
    • ‘Their painstaking work reveals what many astronomers suspected but, until now, could never prove: the redshift desert is a mirage.’
    • ‘On the other hand, flying insects can discriminate natural water surfaces from mirages or other ‘virtual’ surfaces using polarization vision.’
    • ‘We are like thirsty travellers in a desert chasing mirages.’
    • ‘The heat rippled watery mirages on the road, teasing my hot hand with illusory coolness.’
    • ‘Theo and the little girl were now little more than two indistinct specks shimmering in the heat haze, a mirage that was beginning to flicker and break up.’
    • ‘Heading for the desert he attempts the Marathon des Sables, an exhausting and dangerous seven-day test of ability, to see what effect dry heat has on the weather, from mirages to the deadly desert sandstorm that is the haboob.’
    • ‘After all, mirages were common in deserts like these.’
    optical illusion, hallucination, phantasmagoria, apparition, fantasy, chimera, trick, vision
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An unrealistic hope or wish that cannot be achieved.
      ‘the hope of sanctuary initially proved a mirage’
      • ‘They are accountable for producing past profit reports that may have relied excessively on running down reserves to preserve a mirage of real growth.’
      • ‘Putting it briefly and bluntly: The trumpeted brisk rebound in U.S. business capital investment is another bullish mirage lacking any serious substance.’
      • ‘Ah, hope: it's the ultimate mirage in this Wild West town.’
      • ‘Until this is agreed on, the concept of intermediate care will remain a mirage and its possibilities unknown.’
      • ‘Staying in touch also helps you figure out whether he was the real deal or just a mirage.’
      • ‘Democratization in Afghanistan, he believes, is a mirage.’
      • ‘And I think there would be a mirage to believe that we are going to win this war with a swift action in Iraq.’
      • ‘Its a mirage, a figment of some businessman's dream or an economists momentary flash of desperation.’
      • ‘‘The meeting was full of people who were concerned about anti-social behaviour - either they are all seeing mirages or it is actual fact,’ he said.’
      • ‘Surely, there were signs of our men accomplishing it but that proved a mirage.’
      • ‘We were hoping that sanity will prevail upon New Delhi and Islamabad and they will take a decision on reopening of the road but it again proved a mirage.’
      • ‘In light of such obstacles, divergent national interests and division, real consensus was always a mirage and had been steadily weakening since 1991.’
      • ‘His hot start this year could be another mirage.’
      • ‘But pre-electoral promises are a mirage constructed to come to power and then the real agenda takes over.’
      • ‘The notion that nations compete is a fallacy, as the errors lead to initiatives for exports or other mirages.’
      • ‘Therefore, information technology does not appear as a mirage in Arab countries as it has moved smoothly into the lives and work of people just like other places in the world.’
      • ‘The fourth and most important negative point is that the trumpeted recovery in business fixed investment, in particular in high tech, is just another statistical mirage.’
      • ‘As far as I was concerned, possibility was a mirage - and as cold as the distant northern lights.’
      • ‘Basic services have not been funded and the long promised legislation has proved to be a mirage.’
      • ‘The poor might have given him the edge this time, but how happy are they going to be when the promised economic sunshine proves to be a mirage?’

Origin

Early 19th century: from French, from se mirer ‘be reflected’, from Latin mirare ‘look at’.

Pronunciation

mirage

/ˈmɪrɑːʒ//mɪˈrɑːʒ/