illusory

illusory
elusive, illusory
The confusion here has been greatly reduced by the virtual disappearance from the scene of the forms elusory and illusive. This leaves elusive as the adjective from elude, meaning ‘difficult to grasp (physically or mentally)’, and illusory as the adjective corresponding to illusion, meaning ‘deceptive, not real or actual’. Examples of each:

• Preparations are now complete and they set off in a few days' time to try and capture that elusive denizen of the deep —the Loch Ness Monster —Stornoway Gazette, 1971

• The notion that Britain has suddenly been rendered entirely ‘safe’ or ‘secure’ is illusory —Times, 2005.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • illusory — il·lu·so·ry /i lü sə rē, zə rē/ adj: likely to mislead or deceive: false deceptive an illusory plea bargain leading to a longer sentence than expected Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Illusory — Il*lu so*ry, a. [Cf. F. illusore.] Deceiving, or tending of deceive; fallacious; illusive; as, illusory promises or hopes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • illusory — (adj.) 1590s, from Fr. illusorie, from L.L. illusorius ironical, of a mocking character, from illus , pp. stem of L. illudere mock at, lit. to play with, from assimilated form of in at, upon (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + ludere to play (see LUDICRO …   Etymology dictionary

  • illusory — *apparent, seeming, ostensible Analogous words: chimerical, fanciful, visionary, imaginary, fantastic: delusory, delusive, *misleading, deceptive Antonyms: factual: matter of fact …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • illusory — / illusive [adj] deceptive, false apparent, blue sky*, chimerical, deceitful, delusive, delusory, fake, fallacious, fanciful, fantastic, fictional, fictitious, fictive, hallucinatory, ideal, imaginary, misleading, mistaken, ostensible, pseudo*,… …   New thesaurus

  • illusory — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ apparently real but not actually so; deceptive. DERIVATIVES illusorily adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • illusory — [i lo͞o′sə rē, i lo͞o′zərē] adj. producing, based on, or having the nature of, illusion; deceptive; unreal; illusive illusorily adv. illusoriness n …   English World dictionary

  • illusory — /al(y)uwsariy/°uwz°/ Deceiving by false appearances; nominal, as distinguished from substantial; fallacious; illusive. Bolles v. Toledo Trust Co., 144 Ohio St. 195, 58 N.E.2d 381, 390 @ illusory appointment Nominal, overly restrictive or… …   Black's law dictionary

  • illusory — /al(y)uwsariy/°uwz°/ Deceiving by false appearances; nominal, as distinguished from substantial; fallacious; illusive. Bolles v. Toledo Trust Co., 144 Ohio St. 195, 58 N.E.2d 381, 390 @ illusory appointment Nominal, overly restrictive or… …   Black's law dictionary

  • illusory — [[t]ɪlu͟ːzəri, səri[/t]] ADJ GRADED If you describe something as illusory, you mean that although it seems true or possible, it is in fact false or impossible. Universalists argue that freedom is illusory. ...the illusory nature of nationhood …   English dictionary

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