fan·​ci·​ful | \ ˈfan(t)-si-fəl How to pronounce fanciful (audio) \

Definition of fanciful

1 : marked by fancy or unrestrained imagination rather than by reason and experience a fanciful person a fanciful tale of a monster in the woods
2 : existing in fancy (see fancy entry 2) only a fanciful notion the falsehoods about some fanciful secret treaties— F. D. Roosevelt
3 : marked by or as if by fancy or whim gave their children fanciful names

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Other Words from fanciful

fancifully \ ˈfan(t)-​si-​f(ə-​)lē How to pronounce fancifully (audio) \ adverb
fancifulness \ ˈfan(t)-​si-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce fancifulness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fanciful

imaginary, fanciful, visionary, fantastic, chimerical, quixotic mean unreal or unbelievable. imaginary applies to something which is fictitious and purely the product of one's imagination. an imaginary desert isle fanciful suggests the free play of the imagination. a teller of fanciful stories visionary stresses impracticality or incapability of realization. visionary schemes fantastic implies incredibility or strangeness beyond belief. a fantastic world inhabited by monsters chimerical combines the implication of visionary and fantastic. chimerical dreams of future progress quixotic implies a devotion to romantic or chivalrous ideals unrestrained by ordinary prudence and common sense. a quixotic crusade

Examples of fanciful in a Sentence

a fanciful tale of a monster in the woods They gave all their children fanciful names.
Recent Examples on the Web But the idea that Roberts is dedicated to overturning Roe seems fanciful in light of this latest vote and opinion. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "John Roberts Dissociates Himself from the Trump-McConnell Legal Project," 30 June 2020 Thoughts of winning another league title seemed fanciful. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Liverpool wins English Premier League for the first time in club's history," 25 June 2020 The name suggested an early warning system, like an air-raid siren screeching at us to seek cover from incoming bombs, but that is a fanciful aspiration. National Geographic, "On the hunt for the next deadly virus," 16 June 2020 That isn’t quite enough of a subject to fill 90 minutes, and the film’s last half-hour is more fanciful, more clichéd and less gripping than the rest of it. The Economist, "Atmospheric pressure “7500” delivers high drama on a low budget," 18 June 2020 Urbanek suggests decorating porches and patios with huge potted plants and strings of tiny lights in fanciful shapes. Julie Washington, cleveland, "Paint a room, build a fire pit, string solar lights: More stay-at-home projects for summer," 17 June 2020 Critics will say some are idealistic, even fanciful. Bill Laitner,, "Metro Detroit marches in step with nation at racial crossroads," 14 June 2020 On sleepless nights, that random, fanciful thought sometimes comes to me. Haruki Murakami, The New Yorker, "Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey," 1 June 2020 And a worldwide broadcast, digital, and social media exist that would have been fanciful to President Wilson. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The First Postmodern Pandemic," 28 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fanciful.' 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 fanciful

circa 1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fanciful

Time Traveler

The first known use of fanciful was circa 1627

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Statistics for fanciful

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fanciful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for fanciful


How to pronounce fanciful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fanciful

: coming from the imagination
: showing imagination : unusual and appealing


fan·​ci·​ful | \ ˈfan-si-fəl How to pronounce fanciful (audio) \

Kids Definition of fanciful

1 : showing free use of the imagination a fanciful tale
2 : coming from imagination rather than reason He dreamed up a fanciful plan for getting rich.

Other Words from fanciful

fancifully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on fanciful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fanciful

Spanish Central: Translation of fanciful

Nglish: Translation of fanciful for Spanish Speakers

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