fab·​u·​lous | \ ˈfa-byə-ləs How to pronounce fabulous (audio) \

Definition of fabulous

1a : 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

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Other Words from fabulous

fabulously adverb
fabulousness noun

Synonyms for fabulous


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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.”

Examples of fabulous in a Sentence

I had a fabulous time. The weather has been fabulous. He is making fabulous amounts of money.
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Recent Examples on the Web For over 12 years, Say Yes to the Dress has been a staple on TLC thanks to the gorgeous bridal gown selection at Kleinfeld and, of course, the fabulous and always-entertaining advice from Randy Fenoli. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Behind-the-Scenes 'Say Yes to the Dress' Secrets That Will Forever Change the Way You Watch the Show," 12 Jan. 2020 Smoldering looks, glasses of wine, short dresses, Lisa looking fabulous. Lindsay Denninger, refinery29.com, "If There’s Meaning In The New Vanderpump Rules Credits, This Is It," 7 Jan. 2020 Cruickshank was fabulous and could have been named the outstanding player of the game had UW prevailed. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW fans, likely sensing Jonathan Taylor is headed to the NFL, give him a standing ovation as he leaves the field," 1 Jan. 2020 Sitting front row alongside Anna Wintour (with her own special seat cushion, natch), Her Majesty looked right at home surrounded by the British capital’s young and fabulous. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Biggest Royal Moments of the Past Decade," 1 Jan. 2020 And their hairstyles were equally fresh and fabulous. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "These Celebrities Stepped Into the New Year With Amazing Hair," 1 Jan. 2020 No matter where they're displayed, these beauties are pretty much guaranteed to look fabulous. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "These Large Christmas Ornaments Will Keep Your Lawn Merry and Bright," 19 Sep. 2019 Here, 17 fabulous New Year’s Eve dresses to wear into 2020. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "17 Cute New Year's Eve Dresses Under $100 That Will Ship in Time," 27 Dec. 2019 Aaron Rodgers delivered a fabulous touchdown pass to Allen Lazard – with other receiving options injured or struggling – to help lead the comeback charge. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These are the 20 Wisconsin sports moments from 2019 that we'll never forget," 26 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of fabulous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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, fable entry 1" + -ōsus -ous

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Time Traveler for fabulous

Time Traveler

The first known use of fabulous was in the 15th century

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Statistics for fabulous

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fabulous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fabulous. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fabulous


How to pronounce fabulous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fabulous

: very good
: very large in amount or size
literary : not real : told about in a story


fab·​u·​lous | \ ˈfa-byə-ləs How to pronounce fabulous (audio) \

Kids Definition of fabulous

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

Other Words from fabulous

fabulously adverb a fabulously successful singer

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Comments on fabulous

What made you want to look up fabulous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


good-natured easy friendliness

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