Definition of Hallucination

Hallucination: A profound distortion in a person's perception of reality, typically accompanied by a powerful sense of reality. An hallucination may be a sensory experience in which a person can see, hear, smell, taste, or feel something that is not there.

The types of hallucinations include:

  • An auditory hallucination is an hallucination involving the sense of hearing. Called also paracusia and paracusis.
  • A gustatory hallucination is an hallucination involving the sense of taste.
  • A hypnagogic hallucination is a vivid dreamlike hallucination at the onset of sleep.
  • Hypnopompic hallucination is a vivid dreamlike hallucination on awakening.
  • Kinesthetic hallucination is an hallucination involving the sense of bodily movement.
  • Lilliputian hallucination is an hallucination in which things, people, or animals seem smaller than they would be in reality.
  • Olfactory hallucination is an hallucination involving the sense of smell.
  • Somatic hallucination is an hallucination involving the perception of a physical experience occurring with the body.
  • Tactile hallucination is an hallucination involving the sense of touch.
  • Visual hallucination is an hallucination involving the sense of sight.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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