fab·u·lous | \ ˈfa-byə-ləs \

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

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

Homeland Security @SecNielsen did a fabulous job yesterday at the press conference explaining security at the border and for our country, while at the same time recommending changes to obsolete & nasty laws, which force family separation. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Protesters Crash Kirstjen Nielsen’s Dinner at a Mexican Restaurant," 20 June 2018 But, a lot of times, just pitching multiple innings, Jorge has done a fabulous job with that. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Notes: Brandon Woodruff back for fifth stint with Brewers as shuffle of arms continues," 13 July 2018 Surely, few people deserve a fabulous engagement ring more than Ashley Iaconetti, the Bachelor in Paradise alum who waited three long years for her happily-ever-after with Jared Haibon. Elizabeth Leonard, PEOPLE.com, "All About Bachelor in Paradise's Ashley Iaconetti's 'Flashy' Engagement Ring from Jared Haibon," 11 July 2018 Even those who can may not want to hear about the fabulous vacations of others. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "Just back from vacation? Etiquette tips for your return," 10 July 2018 An app called Douyin has won over millions of Chinese fans by serving up an eclectic array of 15-second videos featuring lip-syncing teenagers, cute dogs doing tricks and fabulous-looking people flaunting designer fashions. Liza Lin, WSJ, "China Bans Ads on Booming Video App," 10 July 2018 The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out from her maternity leave looking fabulous in a beautiful outfit and matching hat by her designer of choice, Alexander McQueen. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "William and Kate Followed This Odd English Tradition at Prince Louis’ Christening," 9 July 2018 The one thing that has happened, which is a fabulous thing, is nobody’s dewy-eyed anymore. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Business management expert and author Tom Peters on Recode Decode," 7 July 2018 So we were thrilled when Paramount House Hotel opened in April above Paramount Coffee Project (a bustling café with fabulous avo toast and eggs) in central Surry Hills. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Sydney: The Black Book," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for fabulous

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for fabulous

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

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More Definitions for fabulous



English Language Learners Definition of fabulous

: very good

: very large in amount or size

: not real : told about in a story


fab·u·lous | \ ˈfa-byə-ləs \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fabulous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fabulous

Spanish Central: Translation of fabulous

Nglish: Translation of fabulous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fabulous for Arabic Speakers

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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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