Allusion and Illusion

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What is the different between allusion and illusion?

An allusion is an indirect reference to something.

An illusion is deception.

Allusion and Illusion

The nouns allusion and illusion sound quite similar, and they both have connotations of intangibility. As a result, they are sometimes confused by writers.

Allusion

The noun allusion denotes a subtle or indirect reference to something (i.e., a hint at something). It derives from the verb to allude.

Examples:
  • The Simpsons is full of allusions to well-known films.
  • His consistent allusions to being so poor as a child are not in keeping with his brother's version of their childhood.

Illusion

An illusion is a false impression or deception.

Examples:
  • It's not an oasis — it is an illusion.
  • I am under no illusion how much work is required.
 

 


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