disillusion        0  140 reads


An illusion can simply be an image you think you see that isn't really there, like the illusion of a face on the moon, or like the illusion of clear, smooth skin that we achieve only by applying makeup.

More abstractly, an illusion is a mistaken understanding. In other words, it's a wrong idea about what's real.

Let's see some typical examples of illusions:

  1. "She's under the illusion that the world owes her something. It doesn't."

  2. "He's under the illusion that he can drive like a maniac and never get pulled over. He can't."

  3. "With all those cheery posts, they're creating the illusion that they're always one big happy family. They aren't."

  4. "She still suffers from the illusion that public schools are designed to serve students. They're not."

As you can see, illusions tend to be nice, sweet, happy, simple, pleasant, and idealistic--but they're wrong.

So, to disillusion people is to take away their illusions: to show them the truth, to teach them how things really are.


Part of speech:
Usually a verb,
the transitive kind:
"the experience disillusioned us," "we were disillusioned by the experienced."

Other common forms:
disillusioned, disillusioning, disillusionment

How to use it:
Talk about things, events, situations, and experiences that disillusion people, or about people being disillusioned by those things.

People can also become disillusioned with an entire sphere, system, or situation: "they're disillusioned with the state's public schools," "they're disillusioned with the restaurant industry."

And we often use "disillusioned" as an adjective for people as a group: disillusioned voters, disillusioned churchgoers, disillusioned music lovers realizing how fakeness and tedium have replaced talent and originality.

Most teens can identify with Holden and his disillusionment, his realization that so many people are phony, and that society rewards, even requires, phoniness.

"Asahara founded [the cult known as] Aum Shinrikyo, or Supreme Truth, in the mid-1980s. It attracted young people disillusioned with the modern materialistic way of life."

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