Mirage meaning

mĭ-räzh'
The definition of a mirage is an optical illusion, something that you believe you see but that isn't really there.

An example of a mirage is when you believe you see water or a ship in the desert when it isn't really there.

noun
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2
An optical phenomenon in which light is refracted through a layer of hot air close to the ground, giving the appearance of there being refuge in the distance.
noun
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2
Something illusory or insubstantial.
noun
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2
An optical illusion in which the image of a distant object, as a ship or an oasis, is made to appear nearby, floating in air, inverted, etc.: it is caused by the refraction of light rays from the object through layers of air having different densities as the result of unequal temperature distributions.
noun
7
1
An optical phenomenon that creates the illusion of water, often with inverted reflections of distant objects, and results from distortion of light by alternate layers of hot and cool air.
noun
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2
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Something that falsely appears to be real.
noun
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1
(figuratively) An illusion.
noun
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1
An image formed under certain atmospheric conditions, in which objects appear to be reflected or displaced or in which nonexistent objects seem to appear. For example, the difference in the index of refraction between a low layer of very hot air and a higher level of cold air can cause light rays, travelling down from an object (such as the sky or a cloud) and passing through ever warmer air, to be refracted back up again. An observer viewing these light rays perceives them coming up off the ground, and thus sees the inverted image of the object, which appears lower than the object really is. In this way the sky itself can be reflected, resulting in the mirage of a distant lake.
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1
To cause to appear as or like a mirage.
verb
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1

Origin of mirage

  • French from mirer to look at from Latin mīrārī to wonder at from mīrus wonderful smei- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Borrowing from French mirage
    From Wiktionary