What Is Deja Vu and What Does It Mean?

Deja Vu

What does deja vu mean?

You have most probably heard the words ‘deja vu’ more than once. What do these words mean? Let’s try to define the meaning of the words deja vu.

Deja Vu Definition

The term “deja vu” originates from the French, meaning “already seen”, and describes the experience of feeling that you have witnessed or experienced a certain situation previously. It was first used by Emile Boirac (1851-1917), who was a French psychic researcher.

The experience of deja vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity. There is a strong sense that one has experienced, or have been in the same situation or place in the past.

Here are a few examples to help you understand what does dea vu mean.

  • Have you been in a new place, but felt, as if you had been there before?
  • Did you meet someone for the first time, but had the feeling that you have met him before?
  • Have you been in a totally new situation, yet, felt it was familiar, and that you have experienced it in the past?

Experiences like these are called deja vu. Here is more on how to define deja vu:

Wikipedia deja vu definition: “The feeling that one has lived through the present situation before.”

Merriam Webster deja vu definition: “The illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time.”

Collins dictionary deja vu definition: “The feeling that you have already experienced the things that are happening to you now.”

It is said that the experience of deja vu seems to be very common, and that 70% of people report having experienced it at least once in their lives.

Why Do We Experience Deja Vu

1. We might have seen pictures in the past of a certain place. When we are actually there, even if we have never been there before, we feel that we have been there.

2. We might have read about a certain place, even years ago. When we are in that place or in a similar one, we feel as if we have already been there, or experienced the same situation before.

3. We might have seen a movie about a similar experience. Though we might have forgotten seeing that movie, the subconscious mind still remembers it, giving us the eerie sensation of being familiar with it.

4. We might have seen the place or situation or something similar in our dreams, and now they look familiar.

5. Deja vu could also be triggered through the five senses. It could be the smell, the taste of food, the decor, combination of colors, pitch of voice, background noises or anything else the triggers old memories.

You might not consciously remember the original situation that brought that memory, but you remember having experienced it, and you associate it with the present experience.

6. The sight, clothing or manner of speaking of the person, might remind you of someone you have once met in the past.

7. Some say that this feeling of familiarity might be caused by certain brain states or neurochemical factors during perception that have nothing to do with memory.

8. People who believe in reincarnation say that the reason for deja vu is that one has experienced the same situation in a past life.

There could be other reasons and explanations for experience of deja vu. The mind is a powerful and mysterious engine that creates all kinds of experiences, which few people understand, and fewer try to investigate.

I hope this short article answered some of your questions about deja vu and what it means.

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