chi·​me·​ri·​cal kī-ˈmer-i-kəl How to pronounce chimerical (audio)
variants or less commonly chimeric
kī-ˈmer-ik How to pronounce chimerical (audio)
: existing only as the product of unchecked imagination : fantastically visionary (see visionary entry 1 sense 2) or improbable
chimerical dreams of economic stability
: given to fantastic schemes
She's a chimerical optimist infused with utopian visions.
usually chimeric
: relating to, derived from, or being a genetic chimera : containing tissue with two or more genetically distinct populations of cells
Chimeric mice are generated by mixing cells from two embryos, generating a mouse with four parental contributions.Nancy L. Nadon
: composed of material (such as DNA or polypeptide) from more than one organism
He combined this gene material with safer human DNA and created what's known as a chimeric gene—a gene of antibody instructions that is part man, part mouse.Eric Hand
chimerically adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for chimerical

imaginary, fanciful, visionary, fantastic, chimerical, quixotic mean unreal or unbelievable.

imaginary applies to something which is fictitious and purely the product of one's imagination.

an imaginary desert isle

fanciful suggests the free play of the imagination.

a teller of fanciful stories

visionary stresses impracticality or incapability of realization.

visionary schemes

fantastic implies incredibility or strangeness beyond belief.

a fantastic world inhabited by monsters

chimerical combines the implication of visionary and fantastic.

chimerical dreams of future progress

quixotic implies a devotion to romantic or chivalrous ideals unrestrained by ordinary prudence and common sense.

a quixotic crusade

Examples of chimerical in a Sentence

for the time being, interplanetary travel remains a chimerical feature of life in the 21st century
Recent Examples on the Web Claims made for the abilities or perils of AI chatbots have often turned out to be mistaken or chimerical. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 13 July 2023 Two instances in recent culture capture the uncertainty of our present moment, forcing us to reconsider the locus of the chimerical enemy. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023 Advertisement Concerns escalated when public records requests from the nonprofit news organization the Intercept revealed some of the chimeric viruses showed unexpected growth. Byjocelyn Kaiser,, 8 May 2023 Masculine chunky chains are adorned with the house’s signature tiger head, and Gucci’s chimeric tiger-snake wraps around the wrist, crowned with a yellow sapphire. Sarah Royce-Greensill, Robb Report, 27 Jan. 2023 Corley said the chimeric virus experiment received several layers of institutional review, including from the university’s biosafety committee and the Boston Public Health Commission. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Jan. 2023 Scientists have created several chimeric animals—mosaics of cells of different species, such as the goat-sheep blend called a geep—by adding stem cells from one species to the embryo of another. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 18 Apr. 2023 During the coinfection, the two segmented influenza viruses could exchange bits of genetic code and combine to create a chimeric virus. Evan Bush, NBC News, 11 Feb. 2023 The creation of recombinant or chimeric viruses in the laboratory is merely mimicking what happens naturally as viruses circulate, researchers say. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chimerical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chimerical was in 1638

Dictionary Entries Near chimerical

Cite this Entry

“Chimerical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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