fan·​ci·​ful | \ˈfan(t)-si-fəl \

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 \ adverb
fancifulness \ˈfan(t)-​si-​fəl-​nəs \ 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

Others prolonged summer in fanciful takes on the LWD, like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in a custom Ralph Lauren tuxedo coatdress and Katie Holmes in Tory Burch’s simple shirtdress. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Bella, Cardi, Gigi, and the Best Celebrity Street Style at New York Fashion Week," 14 Sep. 2018 Seagram’s now sells Seagram’s Escapes, with such fanciful flavors as Calypso Colada and Bahama Mama. Dave Mcintyre, The Seattle Times, "The next generation of wine coolers tastes like fun," 20 Aug. 2018 Enter one of the town’s unassuming restaurants, however, and you're transported into a bustling scene straight out of Brooklyn, complete with fanciful cocktails. Hannah Zisman, Marie Claire, "Weekend Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Eat and Drink in Marfa, Texas," 24 July 2018 This fanciful upscale bar owned by David Barzelay of Lazy Bear features an open-faced patty melt. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Best burgers in the Bay Area from the 2018 Top 100 restaurants," 12 June 2018 The hope that the merger could help isn’t fanciful. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Walmart Leaves Grocery Market That Is Tougher Than the U.S., for Now," 30 Apr. 2018 Folly Soap by the New York product and lighting design firm Pelle offers soap in simple geometric forms inspired by fanciful buildings ($16 to $80 each). The New York Times, New York Times, "Trends in Design and Architecture," 5 Mar. 2018 The director's background in documentaries is a bonus here, grounding the film's more fanciful magic-realism elements in cool-headed, observational naturalism. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 Then there are plant specimens, presented in ways ranging from the traditional to the fanciful. Barbara Schreiber, charlotteobserver, "This artist ‘sculpts’ in living trees and fruit. Here’s what he’s doing now in Charlotte," 11 July 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







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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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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 \

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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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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