Definition of optical illusion in US English:

optical illusion

noun

  • 1Something that deceives the eye by appearing to be other than it is.

    • ‘Artists working with the ‘rules of perspective’ have created optical illusions or visual contradictions.’
    • ‘Consider the famous optical illusion of two identical lines where one has concave triangles at its edges whilst the other has convex triangles at either end.’
    • ‘Not even Elizabeth could create such clever faces, like optical illusions that changed when you blinked.’
    • ‘No evidence of canals were found and they were dismissed as optical illusions caused by the eye's tendency to join up noticeable landmarks with straight lines’
    • ‘It is not an optical illusion or trick photography.’
    • ‘Concerning that last factor, I once created an interesting set of optical illusions for a science center, a show that we called, ‘As Eye See It.’’
    • ‘With no optical illusions and only ‘pure’ magic and no curtains, frame or stage, Pandey has managed to achieve the impossible.’
    • ‘Salvador Dali's Optical Illusion contains over 50 of the artist's most important paintings, so expect plenty of humour, shifting perspectives and, of course, optical illusions.’
    • ‘After they spot a UFO, Frank and Joe take cover in a house filled with strange optical illusions.’
    • ‘The reason many thought it was magic was because the largest of the tattoos that covered its body, as well as the vast majority, were optical illusions, causing something of a hypnosis to occur with those who dared to stare long enough.’
    • ‘Loosely reminiscent of the optical illusions of M. C. Escher, Paul Noble's Public Toilet was an uninhibited glorification of the banal.’
    • ‘Her black and white geometrical designs appealed to a young child in short trousers, looking much more like optical illusions than traditional paintings.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the canals turned out to be optical illusions.’
    • ‘The President of the British Astronomical Association, Edward Walter Maunder, argued that these ‘canals’ were optical illusions.’
    • ‘But prisoners at Westlea police station have been surprised to find themselves gazing at vivid pop art and puzzling optical illusions.’
    1. 1.1 An experience of seeming to see something which does not exist or is other than it appears.
      • ‘Following are some examples of optical illusions that can occur with various types of sewing patterns and fabrics.’
      • ‘Everyone, from young children to my 94 year-old grandmother, is fascinated by optical illusions.’
      • ‘Recognising the fluidity and occasional capriciousness of perception, Leonardo delighted in it, contriving not only rebuses or visual puns, but also optical illusions.’
      • ‘An optical illusion is not a party trick - the mechanism behind it is central to how we perceive the world.’
      • ‘Like an early Bridget Riley painting summoned to life, Universal generates more and more perplexing optical illusions the longer one watches it.’
      • ‘Proper use of the diagonal line can cover a lot of figure flaws by creating exciting optical illusions.’
      • ‘This results in an optical illusion known as a mirage.’
      • ‘The design's angular configuration makes it possible for two people to face the piece and create an optical illusion - each person's head appears on the other's body.’
      • ‘The optical illusions created by the cape intensified Johnson's keen sense of space and body, and she demonstrated a fluid dexterity with her seemingly unhinged fingers and legs.’
      • ‘Its black, still waters gleam like an endless mirror, creating kaleidoscopic shades of green and endless optical illusions.’
      • ‘For instance, a very nice test of a robotic vision system would be to see whether it was susceptible to the same optical illusions that we are.’
      • ‘The reason for this focus seems clear enough: from the standpoint of basic research, errors tell us a great deal about fundamental cognitive processes, just as optical illusions teach us about the functioning of the visual system.’
      • ‘Another optical illusion that causes umpires to make mistakes is the parallax error.’
      • ‘Why did the Peales, together with so many of their contemporaries, find optical illusions so enticing?’
      • ‘This optical illusion is known as the ‘Moon Illusion.’’
      • ‘It seems possible that optical illusions may have had a role to play in the coining of several common proverbs regarding the use of vision as the sole source of information.’
      • ‘Jerry's the one who specializes in optical illusions, and will be one of our featured speakers at The Amaz!’
      • ‘He said they are analogous to optical illusions.’
      • ‘Matt will perform in the Magic Factory, a new venue at Oakwood which not only stages his shows, but also provides fantastic optical illusions.’
      • ‘As a kid, I used to see optical illusions that were caused by the heat on the prairie in North Dakota.’
      • ‘I was looking at a website about optical illusions, and they had a great example of how natural rock formations can look like a face.’
      illusion, deception, figment of the imagination
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

optical illusion

/ˈäptəkəl iˈlo͞oZHən//ˈɑptəkəl ɪˈluʒən/