Definition of mirage in English:

mirage

Line breaks: mir¦age
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪrɑːʒ
 
, mɪˈrɑːʒ
 
/

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: the surface of the road ahead rippled in the heat mirages
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, trick, vision;
delusion, figment of the imagination, misconception, pipe dream, day dream
literary phantasm
1.1An unrealistic hope or wish that cannot be achieved: the hope of sanctuary initially proved 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'.

Definition of mirage in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day bogle
Pronunciation: ˈbəʊɡ(ə)l
noun
a phantom or goblin