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 fanciful (audio) \ adverb
fancifulness \ ˈfan(t)-​si-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce fanciful (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 there is no evidence for any of these assertions, and some ancient biographies of Homer are obviously fanciful. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 Throughout Here, a luminous collection of 27 poems, Szymborska indulges in fanciful thought experiments and imagines surreal conversations (with her younger self, with an idea, with her own memory). The Atlantic Culture Desk, The Atlantic, 28 May 2021 Paolo Soleri consists of structures both striking and fanciful. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 12 May 2021 Average, everyday people are selling us toiletries and underwear, designer handbags and wondrously fanciful frocks. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 The pictures are strangely soothing, with their fanciful palettes, evocative silhouettes, and enticing water features. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, 6 May 2021 Airborne turtles that strike cars are the stuff of fanciful (yet real) stories and not a matter that needs to preoccupy your mind while at the steering wheel of a moving car. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 6 May 2021 In the gray light of a Manhattan winter and against the overarching cynicism of the times, my ideas, spoken aloud in class or over coffee with friends, came off as fanciful and far-fetched. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2021 Horses are the stars of the show at the Kentucky Derby, but the number of vibrant and fanciful hats on display at Churchill Downs on Saturday might be the best way to measure how close the iconic race is to returning to normal. Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2021

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

History and Etymology for fanciful

fancy entry 2 + -ful entry 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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fanciful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for fanciful



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

More from Merriam-Webster on fanciful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fanciful

Nglish: Translation of fanciful for Spanish Speakers


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