fan·​ta·​sy | \ ˈfan-tə-sē How to pronounce fantasy (audio) , -zē \
variants: or less commonly
plural fantasies

Definition of fantasy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the power or process of creating especially unrealistic or improbable mental images in response to psychological need an object of fantasy also : a mental image or a series of mental images (such as a daydream) so created sexual fantasies
2 : a creation of the imaginative faculty whether expressed or merely conceived: such as
a : a chimerical or fantastic notion His plans are pure fantasy.
b : imaginative fiction featuring especially strange settings and grotesque characters spent the summer reading fantasy

called also fantasy fiction

c : fantasia sense 1 the organ fantasy of Johannes Brahms
d : a fanciful design or invention a fantasy of delicate tracery
3 : fancy especially : the free play of creative imagination
4 : caprice served to fulfill the king's fantasies
5 often attributive : a coin usually not intended for circulation as currency and often issued by a dubious authority (such as a government-in-exile)
6 obsolete : hallucination



Definition of fantasy (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, or being a game in which participants create and manage imaginary teams consisting of players from a particular sport and scoring is based on the statistical performances of the actual players fantasy football


fantasied; fantasying

Definition of fantasy (Entry 3 of 3)

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Examples of fantasy in a Sentence

Noun His plans are pure fantasy. He can hardly tell the difference between fantasy and reality. His plans are just fantasies. Her fantasy is to be a film star. His plans are the product of pure fantasy. I spent my summer reading fantasies. Verb she regularly fantasies sexual encounters that she knows will never happen
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That meant mixing real-life events with superhero fantasy as evidenced in the pilot episode. Washington Post, "How the latest episode of ‘Watchmen’ took its superhero blackness to the next level," 25 Nov. 2019 The plot featured three college classmates playing a Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy game with Hanks, then 26, as a guy named Robbie who takes his role a bit too far. Bill Higgins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Flashback: Tom Hanks Got His Start in Splatter and 'D & D' Flicks," 23 Nov. 2019 Looking for more in-depth, winning fantasy football coverage? Ryan Dodson, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Fantasy Football - Week 12 Updated PPR Lineup Cheat Sheet Rankings," 23 Nov. 2019 New to streaming, Mortal Engines—Universal's pricey steampunk fantasy that bombed in theaters—is now on Hulu. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Streaming Platforms This Weekend," 22 Nov. 2019 Forthright and open-minded, the great science fiction and fantasy writer's interviews are an art form of their own. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "82 new books for holiday gifts in 2019, from Prince to Susan Sontag," 22 Nov. 2019 Robert Pattinson has starred in two hugely popular fantasy franchises: Twilight and Harry Potter Before Edward Cullen, there was Cedric Diggory. Ale Russian,, "Robert Pattinson Says He Wouldn't Be Acting If It Wasn't for Harry Potter: 'It Was Very Special'," 21 Nov. 2019 Game of Thrones concluded in May 2019, but not all is over from George R. R. Martin's fantasy universe. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Game of Thrones Cast Filmed an Alternate Ending to the Series," 21 Nov. 2019 For the campaign, Copeland steps inside an SW shoebox wrapped in red ribbon and into a Stuart Weitzman Holiday 2019 Collection fantasy. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Misty Copeland Stars In Stuart Weitzman Holiday Campaign," 20 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Allison was coming into his own during the 2018 season before suffering a season-ending injury, and now may find himself in position to be fantasy relevant again. John Romero, The Denver Post, "Fantasy football cheat sheet: Week 5 injury updates on Davante Adams and Sam Darnold," 3 Oct. 2019 In most fantasy league setups, pass-rushing 3-4 OLBs like Khalil Mack and Von Miller are hugely devalued compared with linebackers who play in the middle. Ross Miles, Sports Illustrated, "An Introductory Primer to IDP Leagues," 21 June 2019 The rankings reflect overall fantasy value in a standard 12-team, point-per-reception (PPR) league. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Fantasy football rankings: Top 200 overall players for 2019," 2 Aug. 2019 There's also a third Ameobi brother somewhere posing the very real and definitely not fantasy notion of the world's first three-man fraternal management team., "Newcastle: 10 Managerial Candidates Mike Ashley (Probably) Considered Before Steve Bruce," 19 July 2019 Of the group, Verdugo and Pederson probably offer the most fantasy appeal, since Hernandez is a .207/.264/.333 career hitter against right-handed pitching. Brian Rudd, USA TODAY, "Injuries give young players opportunity," 9 May 2018 Of the group, Verdugo and Pederson probably offer the most fantasy appeal, since Hernandez is a .207/.264/.333 career hitter against right-handed pitching. Brian Rudd, USA TODAY, "Injuries give young players opportunity," 9 May 2018 And if there’s anything fantasy baseball owners don’t like, it’s uncertainty. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Fantasy baseball: Spring training brings uncertainty for owners," 6 Mar. 2018 And that brings us to Kelce’s biggest fantasy nemesis: Alex Smith. John Paulsen,, "After Rob Gronkowski, Should I Draft Travis Kelce or Jordan Reed in Fantasy Football?," 19 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What should fantasy football owners think about Lamar Jackson? The Si Staff,, "Scout’s Take: Insider Fantasy Football Analysis for Every NFL Team," 4 July 2019 Who can fantasy owners find to take Hoskins' place? Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Fantasy baseball chat with Brent Hershey: Thursday at noon ET," 30 May 2018 From fantasy hot commodity to fantasy goat in the span of a week, Henry did not see much time on the field, rushing just six times for 7 yards vs. the stout Texans defense. Tony Holm, USA TODAY, "Fantasy sizzlers and fizzlers: Deshaun Watson does it all," 2 Oct. 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6


1984, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fantasy

Noun and Verb

Middle English fantasie — more at fancy

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Time Traveler for fantasy

Time Traveler

The first known use of fantasy was in the 14th century

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Statistics for fantasy

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fantasy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for fantasy


How to pronounce fantasy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fantasy

: something that is produced by the imagination : an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality
: the act of imagining something
: a book, movie, etc., that tells a story about things that happen in an imaginary world


fan·​ta·​sy | \ ˈfan-tə-sē, -zē \
plural fantasies

Kids Definition of fantasy

1 : imagination sense 1 The plan was a product of pure fantasy.
2 : something produced by the imagination His fantasy is to win a million dollars.


variants: also phantasy \ ˈfant-​ə-​sē How to pronounce phantasy (audio) , -​zē How to pronounce phantasy (audio) \
plural fantasies

Medical Definition of fantasy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the power or process of creating especially unrealistic or improbable mental images in response to psychological need an object of fantasy also : a mental image or a series of mental images (as a daydream) so created sexual fantasies of adolescence


variants: also phantasy
fantasied; fantasying

Medical Definition of fantasy (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on fantasy

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


very cautious or careful

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