An illusion is something that isn't real. It may look real, but it's actually fake — just a crafty construction or fantasy. Like the old rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick practiced by magicians around the globe.

An illusion is an act of deception. Some optical illusions are pretty cool to watch, but an illusion can also point to an erroneous belief or false perception of reality, which is where you start getting into hallucination territory — seeing things that aren't there. You can give the illusion that you’re fascinated by your professor’s lecture by chewing on your pencil, furrowing your brow, and making sure to nod enthusiastically every so often.

Definitions of illusion

n an erroneous mental representation

show 6 types...
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apparition, fantasm, phantasm, phantasma, phantom, shadow
something existing in perception only
the apparent enlargement of a bright object when viewed against a dark background
phantom limb
the illusion that a limb still exists after it has been amputated
UFO, flying saucer, unidentified flying object
an (apparently) flying object whose nature is unknown; especially those considered to have extraterrestrial origins
Flying Dutchman
a phantom ship that is said to appear in storms near the Cape of Good Hope
ghost, shade, specter, spectre, spook, wraith
a mental representation of some haunting experience
Type of:
a mental representation

n an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers

conjuration, conjuring trick, deception, legerdemain, magic, magic trick, thaumaturgy, trick
card trick
a trick performed with playing cards
prestidigitation, sleight of hand
manual dexterity in the execution of tricks
Type of:
the act of presenting a play or a piece of music or other entertainment

n something many people believe that is false

“they have the illusion that I am very wealthy”
fancy, fantasy, phantasy
an impracticable and illusory idea
ignis fatuus, will-o'-the-wisp
an illusion that misleads
wishful thinking
the illusion that what you wish for is actually true
Type of:
an incorrect conception

n the act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas

delusion, head game
Type of:
deceit, deception, dissembling, dissimulation
the act of deceiving

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