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 fantasied the moment of celebration after winning the gold medal.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Shadow and Bone, the new fantasy-adventure series premiering on Netflix April 23, is not a true story. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "The True Historical Events That Inspired Shadow and Bone," 23 Apr. 2021 That hasn't kept it from becoming a buzzword thrown around in almost every industry, from finance to shipping to fantasy football. Ahiza Garcia, CNN, "Blockchain: What is it, and why does it matter?," 22 Apr. 2021 Layers are painstakingly built up using architectural salvage, antiques, and illusion; the final design feels harmonious and full of fantasy. Cynthia Frank, ELLE Decor, "Tour a Legendary, Never-Before-Seen Milan Apartment, in All Its Trompe L'Oeil Glory," 22 Apr. 2021 Ehasz isn't the only Avatar alum who now works on the fantasy adventure series. Rachel Yang,, "18 times Avatar: The Last Airbender was referenced in other pop culture," 2 Apr. 2021 For now, though, that kind of talk is only fantasy football, just something to ponder while the reality of a rebuild rolls on. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: As far as Chargers’ rebuild goes, they need to sell out on adding linemen, corners," 2 Apr. 2021 Experiences like Madden and fantasy football have made fans crave player movement. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "By signing a big-name edge rusher and retaining talent, Browns can win NFL free agency: Ellis L. Williams," 13 Mar. 2021 Raya and the Last Dragon, which was directed by Don Hall (of Big Hero 6 and Moana) and Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting), and written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim, is a slick production, as much an action movie as a fantasy adventure. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "Raya and the Last Dragon," 4 Mar. 2021 In the final fantasy, Arabella imagines having a consensual, intimate night with her rapist. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Pop Culture Reckoned With #MeToo in Radical New Ways in 2020—Even as It Receded From Headlines," 22 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Martin's initial brilliance was to begin A Song of Ice and Fire as a kind of post-fantasy, where characters remember magic as a bygone possibility. Darren Franich,, "The Game of Thrones series premiere took its time. The wannabes could learn something.," 17 Apr. 2021 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Further Reading Ars Technica’s best video games of 2017 If the two of you are already fantasy role-playing veterans, try Divinity: Original Sin 2. Valentina Palladino And Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "15 co-op games to play with your partner this Valentine’s Day," 7 Feb. 2020 Injury concerns will continue to haunt him, but Cook (and his handcuff) will be fantasy gold for those with an early pick in 2020 drafts. Tony Holm, USA TODAY, "Who's been naughty, nice to fantasy football owners in 2019?," 24 Dec. 2019 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

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fantasy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for fantasy



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 fantasy (audio) , -​zē How to pronounce fantasy (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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