French, adjective, literally, already seen
- b : a feeling that one has seen or heard something before
- 2: something overly or unpleasantly familiar
Déjà vu (French pronunciation: [deʒa vy], literally "already seen") is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined. The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book L'Avenir des sciences psychiques ("The Future of Psychic Sciences"), which expanded upon an essay he wrote while an undergraduate. The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness", "strangeness", "weirdness", or what Sigmund Freud calls "the uncanny". The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience has genuinely happened in the past.