You searched for: “mirage
mirage (s) (noun), mirages (pl)
1. 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: When the surface is horizontal, and below the eye, the mirage is that of a sheet of water in which the object is seen "duplicated"; when the mirrorlike surface is above the eye, the image is seen projected against the sky.

The "twin" mirage is seen, commonly in an inverted position, while the real object may or may not be in sight.

An optical effect, as sometimes seen in a mirage on the ocean, but which is more frequently caused by the mirroring of light on the surface that is common to the two levels of air being heated differently.

2. Something illusory, unattainable, or insubstantial: Succeeding as an author sometimes felt like a mirage for Steve's friend who received yet another rejection slip from a publisher.
3. Etymology: from French, mirer, "to look at"; from Latin mirari, "to wonder at", from mirus, "wonderful".

This entry is located in the following unit: mirac-, mira-, mir- (page 2)