Definition of mirage in English:

mirage

Syllabification: mi·rage
Pronunciation: /məˈräZH
 
/

noun

  • 1An optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions, especially the appearance of a sheet of water in a desert or on a hot road caused by the refraction of light from the sky by heated air.
    More example sentences
    • The heat rippled watery mirages on the road, teasing my hot hand with illusory coolness.
    • Heading for the desert he attempts the Marathon des Sables, an exhausting and dangerous seven-day test of ability, to see what effect dry heat has on the weather, from mirages to the deadly desert sandstorm that is the haboob.
    • Due to the unpredictability of mirages, these lights can seem to move quickly through the sky and suddenly vanish.
    Synonyms
    optical illusion, hallucination, phantasmagoria, apparition, fantasy, chimera, vision, figment of the/one's imagination
    literary phantasm
  • 1.1Something that appears real or possible but is not in fact so: the notion that the public is pro-business is a mirage
    More example sentences
    • Basic services have not been funded and the long promised legislation has proved to be a mirage.
    • The poor might have given him the edge this time, but how happy are they going to be when the promised economic sunshine proves to be a mirage?
    • Democratization in Afghanistan, he believes, is a mirage.

Origin

early 19th century: from French, from se mirer 'be reflected', from Latin mirare 'look at'.

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a small amount; a little