Illusion vs. Allusion

Illusion vs. Allusion

When David Copperfield seemed to make the Statue of Liberty disappear on live TV in 1983, that was an illusion. (Sorry to break the news.) Illusions are false ideas or misleading impressions. Basically, it is making something appear real that is not actually real.

An allusion is an indirect reference to something or a hint.

Examples

"Bruno didn't appreciate his mother's allusions about Beary Connick, Jr. If he wants to sleep with a teddy bear, that's his business—even if he is seventeen."

We won't judge you, Bruno. The snuggly call of the teddy bear is hard to resist at any age. In this case, since Bruno's big-mouthed mama is making indirect references to the fact that her son still sleeps with a stuffed animal, allusions is the correct word.

"The makeup artist applied blush to Madison's face liberally, trying to give the illusion of high cheekbones."

Since the shrewd makeup artist is trying to create supermodel cheekbones where there aren't any, illusion is the way to go here.

 

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