Delusions of grandeur

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Delusions of grandeur is a phrase that describes someone who has an inflated view of his importance, someone who believes that he is more powerful than he really is. The term delusions of grandeur originated some time in the mid-1800s to describe someone who is mentally imbalanced, someone who believes that he is more important, powerful or successful than he really is. Today we know that such grandiose delusions are often a symptom of schizophrenia, narcissism, bipolar disorder and other diagnosable mental illnesses. When used in casual conversation, the phrase delusions of grandeur is used as a criticism of someone who is behaving egotistically.


It’s no exaggeration to say that if we elect Trump, a populist demagogue with delusions of grandeur, we risk abandoning core American ideals. (The Sacramento Bee)

Too easy, according to Streep, who views Jenkins as deeply insecure, not simply overcome with delusions of grandeur—though she grants the latter might be part of Jenkins’s appeal. (The Wall Street Journal)

Here, Ruth’s expressive brushstrokes reflect these characters’ delusions of grandeur and goals to “civilize” the American West. (The Winnipeg Free Press)

I wonder why I didn’t get a Ph.D, so I could be treated like royalty everywhere I go, too, instead of being treated like some housewife battling major delusions of grandeur. (The Atlantic Magazine)

It is a lyrical skewering of the most popular myth about the UK in foreign capitals: that it suffers from delusions of grandeur. (The Financial Times)

Mugabe’s delusions of grandeur shattered by a stubborn economy and brutal succession war (The Zimbabwe Daily)

Now those friends wondered, the paper claimed, “whether [her] desperation for acceptance — or delusions of grandeur — may have led [her] to disclose the largest trove of government secrets since the Pentagon Papers.” (The Pacific Standard Magazine)