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Definition: Recognition of images in random patterns, such as the rabbit in the sky

Pronunciation: pa-REI-do-lia


Pareidolia stems from the Greek words para meaning instead (in this context interpreted as faulty or wrong) and the noun eidolon meaning image.

 Why this word?

I am sure you all remember spotting imaginary figures in clouds, shadows, waters or anywhere else possible. This great phenomenon is called pareidolia and it is a great word to have mainly as it is one of a kind!

Moreover, pareidolia is sometimes considered as a harbinger of news, signaling events to be positive or negative completely depending on the type of pareidolia. I can recall one of the last popes’ inauguration after which a Jesus-like figure was seen in the sky by many a believer. You can guess what news they thought it signaled!

How to use the word Pareidolia in a sentence?

Next time you spot an ice-cream in the clouds, call it your pareidolia.

“Everyone knows that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia.”

“Among the religious, a particularly common strain of pareidolia is to see Jesus or Mary in patterns on anything from pancakes, to windows, to trees and even MRI scans”


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Written by Akshay Dashore

Akshay is a Civil engineer who, for his love of words, preferred words over engineering. He is an avid reader and a prolific writer.


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