Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
click for a larger image
top: straight horizontal rules appear curved
bottom: a gray box against a black background appears lighter than the same gray box against a white background


a. An erroneous perception of reality: Mirrors gave the illusion of spaciousness.
b. An erroneous concept or belief: The notion that money can buy happiness is an illusion.
2. The condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief: spent months flailing about in illusion.
3. Something that is erroneously perceived or construed: The animal in the shadows turned out to be an illusion.
4. A fine transparent net fabric, used for dresses or trimmings.

[Middle English illusioun, from Old French, from Late Latin illūsiō, illūsiōn-, from Latin, a mocking, irony, from illūsus, past participle of illūdere, to mock : in-, against; see in-2 + lūdere, to play; see leid- in Indo-European roots.]

il·lu′sion·al, il·lu′sion·ar′y (-zhə-nĕr′ē) adj.
il·lu′sion·less adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.illusionary - marked by or producing illusion; "illusionary stage effects"
unreal - lacking in reality or substance or genuineness; not corresponding to acknowledged facts or criteria; "ghosts and other unreal entities"; "unreal propaganda serving as news"


References in classic literature ?
Freedom from the domination of the great tradition could only be found by seeking new subjects, and such freedom was really only illusionary, since romantic subjects alone are suitable for epic treatment.
Otherwise, all his development schemes will be built over the weak foundation based on the quick sands of illogical thinking and illusionary concepts that have taken deep roots into the minds of the masses over hundreds of years.
Other problems include the journalist's lack of preparation for the topics they are covering and the "flowery" style of writing in Arabic which creates a distant, and illusionary relationship between the media and audience, said Lootah.
This surreal, illusionary effect is a trademark of her prolific career of creating Swimmers that are perceptual catalysts for viewers to reexamine the human form afresh.
She said warmongers and the so-called advocates of diplomacy in the US both rely on illusionary, dangerous and horrific ideas which have so far inflicted irreparable damage on the world and are today one of the root causes of international insecurity.
Alluding clearly to Hasan Nasrullah's fiery speeches, Machnouk added that while we got accustomed to talk about illusionary victories, the real victorious must be Lebanese unity rather than exhibitionistic muscle-flexing drawing on external backing.
Even with my pinky dangling, the palm-filling grip gives me full control of the front of the rifle without the illusionary lack of confidence often given when short handgun grips leave my little finger dangling.
If it is in your half, it can be a bit illusionary possession.
At St Patrick's College there were science experiments, illusionary photos where children could be captured riding a broom or posing in a mock Ford Anglia, visitors from Kirkleatham Owl Centre, bubbles, stalls and refreshments.
I didn't want a classical Christmas tree, but an illusionary phantom tree hanging from the ceiling and you barley see that it's hanging .
In fact, the cross-pollination of technologies, ideas and processes is rapidly giving shape and definition to the once illusionary trillion-dollar market.
This is not only illusionary, but there would also be a high risk that other changes like limiting the independence of the ECB might be included in such a change.