phantasm

noun phan·tasm \ ˈfan-ˌta-zəm \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of phantasm

1 :a product of fantasy: such as
a :delusive appearance :illusion
c :a figment of the imagination
2 :a mental representation of a real object

phantasmal

play \fan-ˈtaz-məl\ adjective

phantasmic

play \fan-ˈtaz-mik\ adjective

phantasm was our Word of the Day on 10/31/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of phantasm in a Sentence

  1. frightened by the phantasms of his own making

  2. believed that she'd seen the phantasm of her father on the anniversary of his death

Recent Examples of phantasm from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phantasm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The root "phan" comes from Greek verbs that mean "to appear or seem" or "to present to the mind." Does "phan" bring to your mind any other English words, in addition to "phantasm"? Indeed, this root appears in several English words that have to do with the way things seem or appear rather than the way they really are. Phantasmagoria and diaphanous are examples. Also from this root are words such as "fanciful" and "fantasy," in which the imagination plays an important part.

Origin and Etymology of phantasm

Middle English fantasme, from Anglo-French fantosme, fantasme, from Latin phantasma, from Greek, from phantazein to present to the mind — more at fancy


PHANTASM Defined for English Language Learners

phantasm

noun

Definition of phantasm for English Language Learners

  • : something that exists only in a person's mind


Medical Dictionary

phantasm

noun phan·tasm \ ˈfan-ˌtaz-əm \

medical Definition of phantasm

1 :a figment of the imagination or disordered mind
2 :an apparition of a living or dead person


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