1

fancy

verb fan·cy \ ˈfan(t)-sē \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of fancy

fancied; fancying
transitive verb
1 : to have a fancy (see 2fancy 1) for : like
  • He's all right, I suppose, but I can't say that I fancy him.
2 : to form a conception of : imagine
  • fancy our embarrassment
  • Just fancy my surprise when I heard that he was getting married.
3 a : to believe mistakenly or without evidence
b : to believe without being certain
  • she fancied she had met him before
  • real or fancied wrongs
4 : to visualize or interpret as
  • fancied myself a child again

Examples of fancy in a Sentence

  1. Which horse do you fancy in the Derby?

  2. try to fancy, if you can, our mother on an elephant when she was touring India

Recent Examples of fancy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of fancy

see 2fancy

Synonym Discussion of fancy

think, conceive, imagine, fancy, realize, envisage, envision mean to form an idea of. think implies the entrance of an idea into one's mind with or without deliberate consideration or reflection.
    • I just thought of a good joke
conceive suggests the forming and bringing forth and usually developing of an idea, plan, or design.
    • conceived of a new marketing approach
imagine stresses a visualization.
    • imagine you're at the beach
fancy suggests an imagining often unrestrained by reality but spurred by desires.
    • fancied himself a super athlete
realize stresses a grasping of the significance of what is conceived or imagined.
    • realized the enormity of the task ahead
envisage and envision imply a conceiving or imagining that is especially clear or detailed.
    • envisaged a totally computerized operation
    • envisioned a cure for the disease

2

fancy

noun

Definition of fancy

plural fancies
1 a : a liking formed by caprice rather than reason : inclination
  • took a fancy to the mutt
b : amorous fondness : love
  • She took a fancy to the young man.
2 a : notion, whim
b : an image or representation of something formed in the mind
3 archaic : fantastic quality or state
4 a : imagination especially of a capricious or delusive sort
  • His plans to build a new stadium are the product of pure fancy.
b : the power of conception and representation used in artistic expression (as by a poet)
5 : taste, judgment
  • a person of delicate fancy
6 a : devotees of some particular art, practice, or amusement
b : the object of interest of such a fancy; especially : 1boxing

Examples of fancy in a Sentence

  1. His plans to build a new stadium are the product of pure fancy.

  2. Critics have dismissed his plan as mere fancy.

Recent Examples of fancy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of fancy

Middle English fantasie, fantsy imagination, image, illusion, preference, from Anglo-French fantasie illusion, from Latin phantasia, from Greek, appearance, imagination, from phantazein to present to the mind (middle voice, to imagine), from phainein to show; akin to Old English gebōned polished, Greek phōs light


3

fancy

adjective

Definition of fancy

fancier; fanciest
1 : dependent or based on fancy : whimsical
2 a (1) : not plain : ornamental
  • a fancy hairdo
(2) : swank 2, posh
  • a fancy restaurant
b (1) : of particular excellence or highest grade
  • fancy tuna
(2) : impressive
  • posted some fancy numbers
c of an animal or plant : bred especially for bizarre or ornamental qualities that lack practical utility
3 : based on conceptions of the fancy
  • fancy sketches
4 a : dealing in fancy goods
b : extravagant
  • paying fancy prices
5 : executed with technical skill and style
  • fancy footwork
  • fancy diving
6 : parti-color
  • fancy carnations

fancily

play \ˈfan(t)-sə-lē\ adverb

fanciness

play \ˈfan(t)-sē-nəs\ noun

Examples of fancy in a Sentence

  1. He drives a big, fancy car.

  2. we're having a little get-together after the concert—nothing fancy

Recent Examples of fancy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of fancy

see 2fancy



FANCY Defined for English Language Learners

fancy

verb

Definition of fancy for English Language Learners

  • : to take pleasure in (something)

  • : to consider (someone or something) likely to win or succeed

  • : to want to have or do (something)


fancy

noun

Definition of fancy for English Language Learners

  • : the feeling of liking someone or something

  • : the power of the mind to imagine things

  • : something imagined


fancy

adjective

Definition of fancy for English Language Learners

  • : not plain or ordinary

  • : very expensive and fashionable

  • : done with great skill and grace


FANCY Defined for Kids

1

fancy

adjective fan·cy \ ˈfan-sē \

Definition of fancy for Students

fancier; fanciest
1 : not plain or ordinary
  • a fancy dress
2 : being above the average (as in quality or price)
  • fancy fruits
3 : done with great skill and grace
  • fancy diving

fancily

\ˈfan-sə-lē\ adverb
  • a fancily decorated cake

fanciness

\-sē-nəs\ noun

2

fancy

noun

Definition of fancy for Students

plural fancies
1 : imagination 1
  • a flight of fancy
2 : liking
  • She took a fancy to her new neighbors.
3 : idea 2, notion
  • … Oz had a fancy to make the balloon in different shades of the color about them.
  • —L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

3

fancy

verb

Definition of fancy for Students

fancied; fancying
1 : to have a liking for
  • I've never fancied Halloween.
2 : imagine 1
  • I fancied that I would have married him …
  • —Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

food, provisions, or a tasty dish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!