Allusion vs Illusion
As allusion and illusion are very similar sounding words in English language that tend to create a problem when spoken in a fast manner, we should try and distinguish the difference between allusion and illusion. As allusion and illusion both seem to sound the same when spoken in a fast manner, then the listener has to grope in the dark or search for the context in which the word was spoken to understand the meaning of the sentence. The two words have totally different meanings, but yes, both share the same Latin root which is ludere. This Latin root means to play. The difference lies in the prefixes used with the two words which are an- in allusion and in- in illusion. It is these prefixes that make all the difference in the meanings of these two words.
What does Allusion mean?
Allusion means to refer to something similar or to something or somebody in the past. It is like giving a hint or suggestion to the listener. Here are a few examples for allusion.
While talking about terrorism, the President made an allusion to the situation in Pakistan.
The principal did not blame the parents but made an allusion to the role of parents in shaping up the behavior of kids.
The convict kept on alluding to his background to impress the jury.
If we pay our attention to the definition of allusion as suggested by the Oxford English dictionary it is as follows. Allusion is “an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.”
Also, according to the Oxford English dictionary this word allusion has its origins in the mid 16th century.
What does Illusion mean?
Illusion is a word that refers to a deception or a false impression. You take something for what it is not.
In the dark, the string gave him the illusion of a snake.
People in deserts sometimes get the illusion of water that can be explained through physics.
He was under the illusion that it was an easy job that he could finish in two days.
Now, let us what the Oxford English dictionary has given as the definition of illusion. According to the dictionary, illusion is “an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience.” Also, the word illusion has its origins in Middle English. There are even phrases that use the word illusion. For example, be under the illusion that (“believe mistakenly that”) and be under no illusion (“be fully aware of the true state of affairs”).
What is the difference between Allusion and Illusion?
• Though sounding nearly identical, allusion and illusion have different meanings and are also used in different contexts.
• While allusion is used to refer to something or someone else, illusion is used to refer to a false impression.
• Specifically, allusion means to refer to something similar or to something or somebody in the past.
• Illusion is a word that refers to a deception or a false impression.