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delusional disorder
delusions of grandeur
delusions of persecution

Delusion definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DELUSION, n. S as z.
1. The act of deluding; deception; a misleading of the mind. We are all liable to the delusions of artifice.
2. False representation; illusion; error or mistake proceeding from false views.
And fondly mournd the dear delusion gone.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary [syn: delusion, psychotic belief]
2: a mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea; "he has delusions of competence"; "his dreams of vast wealth are a hallucination" [syn: delusion, hallucination]
3: the act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas [syn: delusion, illusion, head game]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin delusion-, delusio, from deludere Date: 15th century 1. the act of deluding ; the state of being deluded 2. a. something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated b. a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also the abnormal state marked by such beliefs delusional adjective delusionary adjective Synonyms: delusion, illusion, hallucination, mirage mean something that is believed to be true or real but that is actually false or unreal. delusion implies an inability to distinguish between what is real and what only seems to be real, often as the result of a disordered state of mind <delusions of persecution>. illusion implies a false ascribing of reality based on what one sees or imagines <an illusion of safety>. hallucination implies impressions that are the product of disordered senses, as because of mental illness or drugs <suffered from terrifying hallucinations>. mirage in its extended sense applies to an illusory vision, dream, hope, or aim <claimed a balanced budget is a mirage>.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a false belief or impression. 2 Psychol. this as a symptom or form of mental disorder. Phrases and idioms: delusions of grandeur a false idea of oneself as being important, noble, famous, etc. Derivatives: delusional adj. Etymology: ME f. LL delusio (as DELUDE)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Delusion De*lu"sionn. [L. delusio, fr. deludere. See Delude.] 1. The act of deluding; deception; a misleading of the mind. --Pope. 2. The state of being deluded or misled. 3. That which is falsely or delusively believed or propagated; false belief; error in belief. And fondly mourned the dear delusion gone. --Prior. Syn: Delusion, Illusion. Usage: These words both imply some deception practiced upon the mind. Delusion is deception from want of knowledge; illusion is deception from morbid imagination. An illusion is a false show, a mere cheat on the fancy or senses. It is, in other words, some idea or image presented to the bodily or mental vision which does not exist in reality. A delusion is a false judgment, usually affecting the real concerns of life. Or, in other words, it is an erroneous view of something which exists indeed, but has by no means the qualities or attributes ascribed to it. Thus we speak of the illusions of fancy, the illusions of hope, illusive prospects, illusive appearances, etc. In like manner, we speak of the delusions of stockjobbing, the delusions of honorable men, delusive appearances in trade, of being deluded by a seeming excellence. ``A fanatic, either religious or political, is the subject of strong delusions; while the term illusion is applied solely to the visions of an uncontrolled imagination, the chimerical ideas of one blinded by hope, passion, or credulity, or lastly, to spectral and other ocular deceptions, to which the word delusion is never applied.'' --Whately.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(delusions) 1. A delusion is a false idea. I was under the delusion that he intended to marry me. N-COUNT: usu with supp 2. Delusion is the state of believing things that are not true. This was not optimism, it was delusion. 3. If someone has delusions of grandeur, they think and behave as if they are much more important or powerful than they really are. PHRASE [disapproval]

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


(1) Isa 66:4, "I also will choose their delusions" (the Revised Version, margin "mockings"), Hebrew ta`alulim, which occurs only here and Isa 3:4 (where it is translated "babes," the Revised Version, margin "childishness"). Its meaning is somewhat ambiguous. The best translation seems to be "wantonness," "caprice." "Their wanton dealing, i .e. that inflicted on them" (BDB). Other translations suggested are "insults" (Skinner), "freaks of fortune" (Cheyne), "follies" (Whitehouse). Septuagint has empaigmata, "mockings," Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) illusiones.

(2) 2Th 2:11 the King James Version, "God shall send them strong delusion" (the Revised Version (British and American) "God sendeth them a working of error"), plane, "a wandering," "a roaming about," in the New Testament "error" either of opinion or of conduct.

D. Miall Edwards

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Trick, imposition, imposture, cheat, fraud, artifice, wile, snare, ruse, dodge, fetch, clap-trap. 2. Illusion, deception, fallacy, error, hallucination, mockery, phantasm, false show.

Moby Thesaurus

aberrancy, aberration, acting, affectation, agnosia, airy nothing, apparition, appearance, artifice, attitudinizing, autism, bamboozlement, befooling, block, blocking, bluff, bluffing, bubble, calculated deception, casuistry, cheat, cheating, chicane, chicanery, chimera, circumvention, color, coloring, conning, counterfeit, daydream, deceit, deceiving, deception, deceptiveness, defectiveness, defrauding, delirium, deluded belief, delusion of persecution, delusiveness, dereism, deviancy, disguise, disorientation, dissemblance, dissembling, dissimulation, distortion, dream, dream vision, dreamland, dreamworld, dupery, eidolon, enmeshment, ensnarement, entanglement, entrapment, equivocation, errancy, erroneousness, error, facade, face, fake, fakery, faking, fallaciousness, fallacy, false air, false belief, false front, false show, falseness, falsity, fancy, fantasy, fault, faultiness, feigning, feint, figment, flaw, flawedness, flight of ideas, flimflam, flimflammery, fond illusion, fooling, four-flushing, fraud, front, ghost, gilt, gloss, hallucination, hallucinosis, hamartia, heresy, heterodoxy, hoodwinking, humbug, humbuggery, ignis fatuus, illusion, imposture, kidding, masquerade, mental block, mental confusion, meretriciousness, mirage, misapplication, misbelief, misconception, misconstruction, misdoing, misfeasance, misinterpretation, misjudgment, mistake, nihilism, nihilistic delusion, ostentation, outward show, outwitting, overreaching, paralogia, peccancy, perversion, phantasm, phantom, pipe dream, playacting, pose, posing, posture, pretense, pretension, pretext, psychological block, putting on, representation, ruse, seeming, self-contradiction, self-deceit, self-deception, self-delusion, semblance, shade, sham, show, simulacrum, simulation, sin, sinfulness, snow job, song and dance, sophism, sophistry, speciousness, spoofery, spoofing, spuriousness, stratagem, subterfuge, swindling, trick, trickery, trickiness, tricking, trip, unorthodoxy, untrueness, untruth, untruthfulness, vapor, varnish, victimization, vision, willful misconception, window dressing, wishful thinking, wrong, wrong impression, wrongness

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