American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. 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. Also called fata morgana.
- n. Something illusory or insubstantial.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An optical illusion due to excessive bending of light-rays in traversing adjacent layers of air of widely different densities, whereby distorted, displaced, or inverted images are produced. The requisite change in density arises only near the earth's surface, and the hot shining of the sun seems to be an invariable antecedent, The mirage of the desert presents an appearance of objects reflected in a surface of water; in this case the heated earth rarefies the air in the lower strata faster than it can escape, and the flatness of the ground conduces to the maintenance of the resulting abnormal distribution of density. Displacement by mirage is commonly vertical, but is lateral when the density-gradi ent is more or less inclined to the vertical. Looming and fata Morgana are species of mirage. See these words.
- n. Hence Deceptiveness of appearance; a delusive seeming; an illusion.
- n. 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.
- n. figuratively An illusion.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An optical effect, sometimes seen on the ocean, but more frequently in deserts, due to total reflection of light at the surface common to two strata of air differently heated. The reflected image is seen, commonly in an inverted position, while the real object may or may not be in sight. When the surface is horizontal, and below the eye, the appearance is that of a sheet of water in which the object is seen reflected; when the reflecting surface is above the eye, the image is seen projected against the sky. The fata Morgana and looming are species of
- n. an optical illusion in which atmospheric refraction by a layer of hot air distorts or inverts reflections of distant objects
- n. something illusory and unattainable
- Borrowing from French mirage (Wiktionary)
- French, from mirer, to look at, from Latin mīrārī, to wonder at, from mīrus, wonderful; see smei- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“So that can be blamed for the fact that actually, in the celebrity world, the self-made mirage is even more obvious if you look at the facts, than if you try to figure out the nepotistic and class connections of other worlds (in the boardrooms of North America, for example).”
“(Aug. 25): The root of the word mirage is to look at or to admire.”
“And second, you will create a mirage from the heat that rises off the barrel, causing you to see your groups as being higher than they are.”
“At first there was only pain in the thought of him, but afterwards a faint, misty little pleasure crept in, like a mirage from a land of lost delight.”
“A kind of mirage is over it, due to the distance of 5,000 miles -- a mirage behind which we are told to see a happy, rejuvenated country; and a mirage that hides beneath its shade the uncounted corpses of Petrograd; a mirage which conceals from our sight the horrors and catastrophes which communism has meant there, and beckons with a false allurement towards an example from which a nearer vision would make us retreat in horror.”
“The mirror image-or, condensed into a single word, the "mirage" - is not only whole and non-human as opposed to fragmented, turbulent and human, it is an "exteriority," an outside that is also inside.”
“It’s shiny-happy-people high school mirage is nicely balanced with some truly biting humor and unexpected story-lines.”
“This holds in both the ways used to study TeV-scale supersymmetry in this framework, namely the mirage mediation models where W is fine-tuned small and the large-volume models I have worked on.”
“His composition is now and then somewhat disconnected; the impressions are vague, almost illusory, and the mirage is a little obscure, but the intense and abiding charm of Nature remains.”
“If it is dangerous to explore, who knows but the so-called mirage is a real lake of mud and water!”
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