chi·​me·​ri·​cal | \kī-ˈmer-i-kəl, kə-, -ˈmir-\
variants: or less commonly chimeric \kī-​ˈmer-​ik, kə-​, -​ˈmir-​ \

Definition of chimerical 

1 : existing only as the product of unchecked imagination : fantastically visionary (see visionary entry 1 sense 2) or improbable chimerical dreams of economic stability

2 : given to fantastic schemes She's a chimerical optimist infused with utopian visions.

3 usually chimeric

a : 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

b : 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

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Other Words from chimerical

chimerically \kī-​ˈmer-​i-​k(ə-​)lē, kə-​, -​ˈmir-​ \ 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

This batting benchmark has become chimerical like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. Christopher L. Gasper,, "The Lions in the Super Bowl, a .400 hitter in a season, and other sports dreams I’d like to see become reality," 14 July 2018 That would leave management enough time to assess whether the chances of challenging for a playoff spot are real or chimerical. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "July shocker: A's may have staved off annual trade dumps," 4 July 2018 Perhaps, but these numerical ponds seem to have been more like chimerical ponds. John Kelly, Washington Post, "An odd number. An odd place. Readers reminisce about Prince George’s Number 9 Pond," 26 May 2018 The government’s promise to create 3m new apprenticeships from 2015 to 2020 looks chimerical. The Economist, "Britain’s apprenticeship levy is causing a boom in MBAs," 24 May 2018 Most of these were scratched out, as their futility became evident, and the rest of the sheet covered with absent-minded geometrical designs, as the writers sat despondently listening while Minister after Minister proposed chimerical schemes. Olga Ingurazova, Smithsonian, "What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?," 29 Sep. 2017 The paintings are a series of chimerical scenes, freeform lines, and warm, balmy hues – exploring the relationship of various media in the artist's creation of unique, personal artwork. Hero Stevenson, Harper's BAZAAR, "Exclusive Interview: Lola Schnabel's Latest Inspiration," 5 Aug. 2015 A few weeks ago the notion of a classic but modernized and fully realized Metroid game would have seemed chimerical. Matt Peckham, Time, "20 Video Games We Can't Wait To Play This Summer," 23 June 2017 The Tory view that May would be their greatest electoral asset was revealed to be chimerical. Alex Massie, The Atlantic, "British Voters: Trust Nobody," 9 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chimerical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chimerical

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chimerical


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The first known use of chimerical was in 1638

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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