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

For Harry and Meghan's wedding, Anne wore a slightly more fanciful brocade dress and feathered fascinator. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Princess Anne Just Wore One of Her Favorite Ensembles to Ella Windsor's Wedding," 18 May 2019 Inspired by Joshua Tree, the collection is a fanciful reverie about creatures that might come out at night, reminiscent of Where the Wilds Things Are. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "L'Objet Launches Haas Brothers Tableware Collection," 11 Mar. 2019 Some fanciful ideas have been proposed behind these doors in the last six weeks, including a plan to legalize prostitution as a way to renew tourism. Scott Gold,, "Harry Anderson: Bringing magic to the Big Easy," 17 Apr. 2018 But the idea that the vote could lead to an exit from the euro looks fanciful. The Economist, "League of scepticsWhoever wins the election, Italy is not about to leave the euro," 25 Jan. 2018 Equally fanciful was Knightley’s frothy tulle gown, designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino, that earned universal acclaim throughout the crowd. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Keira Knightley Smoldered at the New York Premiere of Her Post-War Drama The Aftermath," 14 Mar. 2019 This establishes a somewhat fanciful tone, which helps counterbalance the logic problems. Daryl H. Miller,, "Wearing a 'Red Speedo,' Lucas Hnath goes swimming with sharks," 18 May 2018 Upstairs, blush-colored walls, Art Deco elements, and whimsical branding bring a fanciful interpretation of Parisian glamour to 18 small rooms. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Where to Find London’s Hidden French Side," 7 Jan. 2019 On his splashy Instagram page, image after image depicts Bendriouich, handlebar mustache and all, fully made up as the protagonist of his own fanciful Moroccan-set period piece. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Designer and Glamour Boy Amine Bendriouich Puts a Unisex Spin on Dressing à la Marocaine," 5 Sep. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near fanciful







fan club

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Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for fanciful

The first known use of fanciful was circa 1627

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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

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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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