Delusions of grandeur


      • Exaggeration
        To describe someone's tendency to inflate their own importance or abilities in a way that is not based in reality. This can be used to describe arrogant or boastful behavior.

      • Unrealistic beliefs
        To describe someone's belief in their own superiority or greatness, despite having little evidence to support it. This can also refer to someone having unrealistic expectations or ambitions.

      • Mental illness
        To describe someone who suffers from delusions of grandeur, a type of mental illness characterized by false beliefs of one's own power, importance, or identity.

    Examples of Delusions of grandeur

    • The CEO's belief that his company's success was due solely to his own efforts and not the hard work and dedication of his team was a clear case of delusions of grandeur.

      Delusions of grandeur refer to an exaggerated belief in one's own importance, talents, or abilities. This can lead to arrogance and a lack of recognition of the contributions of others.

    • The author's insistence that their debut novel would be the next great literary masterpiece was an instance of delusions of grandeur.

      Although it's perfectly fine to be confident in one's work, a true masterpiece requires more than just confidence. Delusions of grandeur in this context can indicate a lack of perspective or nuance, as the author seems to believe that their work is infallible without actually having read or studied the genre or historical contexts in which their work falls.

    • The opera singer's demand that the entire audience be silenced during her performance because she was "the sole source of beauty in the room" was an instance of delusions of grandeur.

      Exaggerated self-importance and hubris, in this instance, can manifest as a lack of awareness of the fact that beauty is not an absolute but a subjective and shared experience, and that the audience is a crucial part of that experience. Delusions of grandeur in this context indicate a belief that one is the sole creator and arbiter of beauty.

    • The politician's claim that their election was a mandate to rule with absolute power was a case of delusions of grandeur.

      While an overwhelming majority in an election can be seen as a strong mandate, it's important to remember that democracy is a system of checks and balances, and no individual has absolute power. Delusions of grandeur in this context indicate a conviction that the will of the people is entirely in line with one's own personal philosophy or ideology.

    • After watching his own speech on television, John started to believe that he was the next president of the country.

      Delusions of grandeur refers to overestimating one's abilities, importance, or accomplishments. John's exaggerated belief that he would become president is an example of such a delusion.

    • Lena's boss praised her work too frequently, and now she thinks that she is indispensable to the company.

      Delusions of grandeur also result when others excessively compliment or praise someone. Lena's boss's excessive praise has led Lena to believe that she is irreplaceable.

    • During the job interview, Tom kept talking about his accomplishments and how he was better than the other candidates. He seemed to believe that the company couldn't do without him.

      Delusions of grandeur can also manifest in the form of excessive self-confidence. Tom's excessive self-promotion in the interview suggests that he thought that the company would find it difficult to replace him.

    • Emma has always believed that she deserves a promotion even though she has not put in the necessary work.

      Delusions of grandeur can also persist for an extended period. Emma's belief that she deserves a promotion without putting in the required work is an example of persisting delusions of grandeur.


    The idiom "delusions of grandeur" is commonly used to describe someone who has an inflated sense of self-importance or unrealistic beliefs about their abilities. It can also refer to a serious mental illness characterized by delusions of power or grandeur.

    In everyday usage, this idiom is often used to criticize someone for being overly boastful or arrogant. It can also be used to caution against having unrealistic expectations or ambitions, as it implies that such beliefs are not based in reality.

    Origin of "Delusions of grandeur"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the 19th century, when it was used in medical literature to describe a type of mental illness. The term "delusions of grandeur" was first coined by French psychiatrist Charles Lasègue in 1868.

    The word "delusion" refers to a false belief or perception, while "grandeur" means greatness or importance. Together, they describe the false belief in one's own superiority or greatness, which is a key symptom of the mental illness known as grandiose delusional disorder.

    Over time, this term has also been used in a more general sense to describe someone who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance or unrealistic beliefs about their abilities. It has become a popular idiom in English and is often used in everyday speech to describe someone who is overly boastful or arrogant.