phantasm was our Word of the Day on 10/31/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of phantasm in a Sentence
frightened by the phantasms of his own making
believed that she'd seen the phantasm of her father on the anniversary of his death
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
First Known Use: 13th century
PHANTASM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of phantasm for English Language Learners
: something that exists only in a person's mind
Medical Definition of phantasm
1: a figment of the imagination or disordered mind
2: an apparition of a living or dead person
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up phantasm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).