adjective fab·u·lous \ ˈfa-byə-ləs \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

Definition of fabulous

1 a : resembling or suggesting a fable : of an incredible, astonishing, or exaggerated nature
  • fabulous wealth
b : wonderful, marvelous
  • had a fabulous time
  • a fabulous view from the summit
2 : told in or based on fable
  • fabulous dragons





Examples of fabulous in a Sentence

  1. I had a fabulous time.

  2. The weather has been fabulous.

  3. He is making fabulous amounts of money.

Recent Examples of fabulous from the Web

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

The Meaning of fabulous Before It Meant ‘Great’

Most of us use the word fabulous in an entirely positive sense, with the meaning “wonderful” or “marvelous.” This is an entirely acceptable way to use the word, but it is by no means the sense that fabulous had when it entered the English language: its original meaning was “characteristic of fables” (a fable is “an invented tale”). In that sense, "the fabulous legends of Arabia" refers to legends based upon fable rather than notably excellent legends. The semantic drift that fabulous has undergone is not at all uncommon in language, and we see comparable developments in words of similar in meaning. Fantastic previously meant “of, belonging to, or constituting fantasy”; awesome initially had the sole meaning “expressive of awe” (and many people wish that it still did); and terrific meant “terrible, terrifying” long before it meant “splendid.”

Origin and Etymology of fabulous

Middle English fabulous, fabulose "legendary, mythical," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French fabuleux, borrowed from Latin fābulōsus "celebrated in legend, resembling an invented story, mythical," from fābula "talk, account, 1fable" + -ōsus -ous

Synonym Discussion of fabulous

fictitious, fabulous, legendary, mythical, apocryphal mean having the nature of something imagined or invented. fictitious implies fabrication and suggests artificiality or contrivance more than deliberate falsification or deception.
    • fictitious characters
fabulous stresses the marvelous or incredible character of something without necessarily implying impossibility or actual nonexistence.
    • a land of fabulous riches
legendary suggests the elaboration of invented details and distortion of historical facts produced by popular tradition.
    • the legendary exploits of Davy Crockett
mythical implies a purely fanciful explanation of facts or the creation of beings and events out of the imagination.
    • mythical creatures
apocryphal implies an unknown or dubious source or origin or may imply that the thing itself is dubious or inaccurate.
    • a book that repeats many apocryphal stories

FABULOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of fabulous for English Language Learners

  • : very good

  • : very large in amount or size

  • : not real : told about in a story

FABULOUS Defined for Kids


adjective fab·u·lous \ ˈfa-byə-ləs \

Definition of fabulous for Students

1 : extremely good
  • a fabulous trip
2 : very great in amount or size
  • fabulous wealth
3 : told in or based on fable
  • fabulous creatures


  • a fabulously successful singer

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