Definition of mirage in English:

mirage

Pronunciation: /mɪˈrɑːʒ//ˈmɪrɑːʒ/

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’
    • ‘At first glance, the Salton Sea appears like a glistening mirage in the California desert - a shimmering landscape of reflected sky and sand.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Seeing nothing at all except the distant silver mirages and heat shimmers he once again eased his mount forward.’
    • ‘But he said it was unclear whether the bulge indicated a jagged break in the wing or a mirage caused by atmospheric distortion.’
    • ‘We are like thirsty travellers in a desert chasing mirages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yes, people had mirages in the desert, but what she was describing was clearly no mirage.’
    • ‘In the heat of the day it spreads a mirage of water over the horizon.’
    • ‘The heat rippled watery mirages on the road, teasing my hot hand with illusory coolness.’
    • ‘Malaysia's hot pursuit a fortnight ago appeared like a mirage in Bahrain's desert expanse.’
    • ‘On the other hand, flying insects can discriminate natural water surfaces from mirages or other ‘virtual’ surfaces using polarization vision.’
    • ‘Their painstaking work reveals what many astronomers suspected but, until now, could never prove: the redshift desert is a mirage.’
    • ‘A mirage is caused by a small refraction of light near a hot surface.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘After all, mirages were common in deserts like these.’
    • ‘Their eyes are blinded: they will not see that their visions are as baseless and disappointing as the mirage of the African desert.’
    • ‘Across it, turrets of the small white mosque seemed as insubstantial as the wobbling outlines of a heat mirage.’
    • ‘Due to the unpredictability of mirages, these lights can seem to move quickly through the sky and suddenly vanish.’
    optical illusion, hallucination, phantasmagoria, apparition, fantasy, chimera, trick, vision
    delusion, figment of the imagination, misconception, pipe dream, day dream
    phantasm
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An unrealistic hope or wish that cannot be achieved:
      ‘the hope of sanctuary initially proved a mirage’
      • ‘Staying in touch also helps you figure out whether he was the real deal or just a mirage.’
      • ‘As far as I was concerned, possibility was a mirage - and as cold as the distant northern lights.’
      • ‘Putting it briefly and bluntly: The trumpeted brisk rebound in U.S. business capital investment is another bullish mirage lacking any serious substance.’
      • ‘The notion that nations compete is a fallacy, as the errors lead to initiatives for exports or other mirages.’
      • ‘They are accountable for producing past profit reports that may have relied excessively on running down reserves to preserve a mirage of real growth.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘In light of such obstacles, divergent national interests and division, real consensus was always a mirage and had been steadily weakening since 1991.’
      • ‘Ah, hope: it's the ultimate mirage in this Wild West town.’
      • ‘Its a mirage, a figment of some businessman's dream or an economists momentary flash of desperation.’
      • ‘But pre-electoral promises are a mirage constructed to come to power and then the real agenda takes over.’
      • ‘Surely, there were signs of our men accomplishing it but that proved 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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Democratization in Afghanistan, he believes, is 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.’
      • ‘Basic services have not been funded and the long promised legislation has proved to be a mirage.’
      • ‘Until this is agreed on, the concept of intermediate care will remain a mirage and its possibilities unknown.’
      • ‘His hot start this year could be another 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.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

mirage

/mɪˈrɑːʒ//ˈmɪrɑːʒ/