April 01, 2015
mirage (noun)
\muh-RAZH\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: an illusion that gives the appearance of a pool of water or a mirror in which distant objects are seen inverted, that is sometimes seen at sea, in the desert, or over a hot pavement, and that is caused by the bending or reflection of light passing through layers of air having different temperatures
How do you use it?
"The pool hurried away from him, moving as he moved, stopping when he stopped. There wasn't any water. It was a mirage caused by the shimmering waves of heat rising off the dry ground." (Louis Sachar, _Holes_)
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think is a synonym of "mirage"?

It's no illusion that A is the right answer. Besides its "water" sense, "mirage" may also apply to a dream, hope, or aim that cannot be realistically reached. ("The opposing candidate claimed a balanced budget is a mirage."). "Hallucination" implies an impression resulting from mental illness or the effects of a drug. ("An allergy to the medication produced hallucinations.") "Delusion," meanwhile, suggests a false belief. ("He had delusions of persecution."). And "illusion" implies a misleading image or mistaken idea based on what one sees. ("The lifeboats produced an illusion of safety.").
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