Share this entry
mirage Line breaks: mir¦age
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪrɑːʒ/

Definition of mirage in English:


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.
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.


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

Words that rhyme with mirage

Definition of mirage in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources