Definition of hallucinate in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Experience a seemingly real perception of something not actually present, typically as a result of a mental disorder or of taking drugs.

    ‘people sense themselves going mad and hallucinate about spiders’
    • ‘The kid smiled and vanished, leaving a befuddled scientist to wonder if he'd begun hallucinating.’
    • ‘Because of expressive language difficulties, it may not be clear whether an individual with AD is indeed hallucinating or experiencing illusions or agnosias.’
    • ‘They became slaves to impulse, began to hallucinate, and, in a hypnotic trance, became completely vulnerable to the suggestions of leaders who might be thrown up.’
    • ‘It probably doesn't matter if you're actually hallucinating for those last two, though.’
    • ‘He looked up at the ceiling and began to hallucinate.’
    • ‘At times I was suffering mild paralysis in my legs, and I think I was beginning to hallucinate, but one of the other drivers in a Ferrari 550 ended up in intensive care!’
    • ‘After a few nights of absolutely no sleep, some people begin hallucinating.’
    • ‘I had a job as a technician, but I began to hallucinate more and have irrational thoughts.’
    • ‘By the time the victim begins hallucinating, turns gray-skinned, becomes paralyzed, and dies, it may be impossible to identify who did the dastardly deed, or when.’
    • ‘By the time I actually made it to the clinic, I had been awake so long, and had been depriving myself of anything other than just water, that I was beginning to hallucinate.’
    • ‘My mouth became a dust bowl, complete with tumbleweed and mini sandstorms, and I actually started to hallucinate about a bottle of Evian.’
    • ‘Welner explains that someone with a severe, brief, psychotic reaction, who has borderline personality disorder, might even hallucinate.’
    • ‘Immediately I am captivated by this picture-perfect creature before me, and I find myself wondering if he is even real or if I have begun to hallucinate.’
    • ‘Sleep deprivation really kicked in, and I started to actually hallucinate!’
    • ‘Findings is so deeply into a drug/alcohol induced stupor that he is not sure himself if he is dreaming, hallucinating or actually awake.’
    • ‘Caci began hallucinating, imagining Bailey there at the hospital with her, talking with her.’
    • ‘Then she began hallucinating and before losing consciousness she managed to grab the phone and press the redial button.’
    • ‘After awhile subjects become disoriented and begin to hallucinate uncontrollably.’
    • ‘He noted that with enough sleep deprivation, some people can develop mood changes and can even begin to hallucinate, ‘all of which can lead to reduced quality of life.’’
    • ‘He begins sniffing petrol, hallucinates at an open religious site and accidentally alights the community centre.’
    have hallucinations, imagine things, see things, see visions, be delirious, have delirium tremens, fantasize, daydream, dream
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    1. 1.1with object Experience a hallucination of (something)
      ‘I don't care if they're hallucinating purple snakes’
      • ‘In fact, I thought I might have hallucinated it entirely.’
      • ‘Several times I hallucinated Atlantic salmon beneath our hole.’
      • ‘While watching this, I thought I must have hallucinated that burning image in my mind of star Gooding, Jr. having accepted an Oscar a few years back.’
      • ‘Dr Rob, um, wanders about the place, not making a great deal of sense, and hallucinating an encounter with Julie Burchill in the garden.’
      • ‘When delirious crowds tore down the Berlin Wall in 1989 many hallucinated that a millennium of borderless freedom was at hand.’
      • ‘Jim would go out every night during and that's when I got addicted to all manner of flu pills and I hallucinated cats on the ceiling.’
      • ‘Severed from the familiar background o f the house in which she has lived for 70 years, she hallucinates her fears.’
      • ‘Awake for six days and six nights, she recalls hallucinating that a beautiful golden light was coming out of her head.’
      • ‘He hallucinates three suns in the sky and cringes under the piano.’
      • ‘You can travel for two or twenty stops on a London bus and find yourself hallucinating the taste of Jaffa Cakes.’
      • ‘At the far end of Turnham Green I believe I'm hallucinating a mirage, until from the swinging sign before me emerge the words ‘Sandwich Shop’.’
      • ‘Chris, come in here - I need you to look at something and tell me whether I'm hallucinating it or not!’
      • ‘During the day as Madison plays around the house I find myself hallucinating the bugs.’
      • ‘You probably hallucinated your booming scene back home, because I've never heard of anybody from Victoria making it big, okay?’
      • ‘As long as we're doing this, does anyone remember the episode where Buffy is stabbed by a demon and she hallucinates that she is in a mental ward and that the events of the last couple years were schizophrenic delusions.’
      • ‘‘So basically, there is no chance your dog will be hallucinating rainbow cats,’ Mr Rochfort said.’
      • ‘The parents of a woman of 22, so classified, reported that she was hallucinating a husband and children at the dinner table and engaging them in extended conversation.’
      • ‘Is there a name for the syndrome whereby one hallucinates obscure government ministers?’
      • ‘Also from Miike, FanTasia screened Gozu, a film that begins with a crazed gangster who hallucinates that a tiny Chihuahua is ‘a trained Yakuza attack dog’ and smashes the hapless creature against a restaurant window.’
      • ‘When he sees an accident at the Heart Machine, he hallucinates the machine as a demon's mouth swallowing the workers.’
      have hallucinations, imagine things, see things, see visions, be delirious, have delirium tremens, fantasize, daydream, dream
      View synonyms


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘be deceived, have illusions’): from Latin hallucinat- ‘gone astray in thought’, from the verb hallucinari, from Greek alussein ‘be uneasy or distraught’.