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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Malaysia's hot pursuit a fortnight ago appeared like a mirage in Bahrain's desert expanse.’
    • ‘Due to the unpredictability of mirages, these lights can seem to move quickly through the sky and suddenly vanish.’
    • ‘Yes, people had mirages in the desert, but what she was describing was clearly no mirage.’
    • ‘Their eyes are blinded: they will not see that their visions are as baseless and disappointing as the mirage of the African desert.’
    • ‘On the other hand, flying insects can discriminate natural water surfaces from mirages or other ‘virtual’ surfaces using polarization vision.’
    • ‘After all, mirages were common in deserts like these.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the heat of the day it spreads a mirage of water over the horizon.’
    • ‘At first glance, the Salton Sea appears like a glistening mirage in the California desert - a shimmering landscape of reflected sky and sand.’
    • ‘Their painstaking work reveals what many astronomers suspected but, until now, could never prove: the redshift desert is a mirage.’
    • ‘The heat rippled watery mirages on the road, teasing my hot hand with illusory coolness.’
    • ‘We are like thirsty travellers in a desert chasing mirages.’
    • ‘Seeing nothing at all except the distant silver mirages and heat shimmers he once again eased his mount forward.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A mirage is caused by a small refraction of light near a hot surface.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Staying in touch also helps you figure out whether he was the real deal or just a mirage.’
      • ‘Until this is agreed on, the concept of intermediate care will remain a mirage and its possibilities unknown.’
      • ‘Putting it briefly and bluntly: The trumpeted brisk rebound in U.S. business capital investment is another bullish mirage lacking any serious substance.’
      • ‘Surely, there were signs of our men accomplishing it but that proved 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.’
      • ‘They are accountable for producing past profit reports that may have relied excessively on running down reserves to preserve a mirage of real growth.’
      • ‘Basic services have not been funded and the long promised legislation has proved to be a mirage.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As far as I was concerned, possibility was a mirage - and as cold as the distant northern lights.’
      • ‘Ah, hope: it's the ultimate mirage in this Wild West town.’
      • ‘The notion that nations compete is a fallacy, as the errors lead to initiatives for exports or other mirages.’
      • ‘Its a mirage, a figment of some businessman's dream or an economists momentary flash of desperation.’
      • ‘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

/mɪˈrɑːʒ//ˈmɪrɑːʒ/