Definition of fabulous
- fabulous wealth
- fabulous dragons
I had a fabulous time.
The weather has been fabulous.
He is making fabulous amounts of money.
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.
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.”
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