Definition of megalomania in US English:



  • 1Obsession with the exercise of power, especially in the domination of others.

    • ‘So my ultimate goal of acquiring enough knowledge to conquer the stock market isn't a product of megalomania?’
    • ‘In the past, the building of such mega-projects as complete new cities was frequently driven by the megalomania of some despotic ruler.’
    • ‘Utopian enthusiasm promises enlightenment and community but it also risks exploitation, depersonalization, and megalomania.’
    • ‘And when he launches into his lecture on the ‘spiritually superior personality’, we are reminded of how thin a line divides enlightened idealism and protofascist megalomania.’
    • ‘World domination, absolute power and obsessive megalomania - there's been a lot of it about.’
    • ‘This cluster of tightly interrelated themes - power, ego, control, megalomania, failure - were to give a strong pattern to Welles' creations, just as they later did for Werner Herzog.’
    • ‘His madness, if indeed madness it was, was of megalomania: a condition attributed to an incalculable number of despots and murderers over the ages.’
    • ‘As a military official, he's incompetent, and as a character who should engage our sympathy, he's a total failure, blinded by his own megalomania and quest for historic recognition at any cost.’
    • ‘His brash style and megalomania also make him enemies.’
    • ‘The hidden message here is that we expect people who are blessed with qualities like economic acumen, leadership and intelligence to be cursed with the obverse traits of greed, megalomania and ruthless cunning.’
    • ‘This vision of world domination goes way, way beyond hubris, and crosses the border into outright megalomania.’
    • ‘Personally, I found it riveting from the word go, watching the idealism, the megalomania, the ruthlessness, the plotting by what essentially was a bunch of gangsters with a great deal of misused power.’
    • ‘It enacts an arrogance that borders on megalomania.’
    • ‘This conviction frequently prompts its spokespersons to make irritating declarations that border on megalomania, the odious or the comical.’
    • ‘On the surface, Watchmen is a crime fighting/superhero comic, but really it deals with the philosophy of good versus evil, morality, megalomania, the nature of evil, love, betrayal, honour and friendship.’
    delusions of grandeur, obsessionalism, grandiosity, grandioseness
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    1. 1.1 Delusion about one's own power or importance (typically as a symptom of manic or paranoid disorder).
      • ‘Letters to friends were full of ‘self-infatuation and rampant megalomania.’’
      • ‘Yet somehow he forgot all the truths of his younger days and bought into the self-delusions spawned from his megalomania.’
      • ‘Though Shaw was prone to bouts of megalomania, he viewed his apotheosis with amused detachment.’
      • ‘The laboratory report explained the patient's megalomania.’
      • ‘Some visions are so audacious, they can be expressed only as ironic jokes, lest the speaker be accused of pomposity or megalomania.’
      • ‘These few moments behind the scenes in the making of the movie highlight how serious the performer was at his chosen craft, while hinting at the megalomania that would later tarnish his tumultuous reputation.’
      • ‘Jay Robinson, not particularly a household name among actors, is great as Caligula - delivering a nice blend of menace and megalomania.’
      • ‘It was the least of his transgressions in a career notable for its paranoia, deceptions, moral vacuum and megalomania.’
      • ‘Higgins's megalomania reached its nadir one night when he flagged down a police car and demanded to be given a lift to his destination (a nightclub, obviously).’
      • ‘But Napoleon was probably beginning to suffer from megalomania: he had succeeded to such a tremendous extent that perhaps all things seemed possible.’
      • ‘But to his brothers his dreams appear to verge on megalomania.’
      • ‘He has developed some kind of megalomania which makes him feel superior to others.’
      • ‘Rather, they live in worlds of enthusiastic self-delusion and megalomania.’
      • ‘The paper has opened a nationwide debate on whether he should be allowed to continue in power now that he is revealing signs of megalomania and paranoia.’