Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective fanciful contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of fanciful are chimerical, fantastic, imaginary, quixotic, and visionary. While all these words mean "unreal or unbelievable," fanciful suggests the free play of the imagination.

a teller of fanciful stories

How does the word chimerical relate to other synonyms for fanciful?

Chimerical combines the implication of visionary and fantastic.

chimerical dreams of future progress

When could fantastic be used to replace fanciful?

The meanings of fantastic and fanciful largely overlap; however, fantastic implies incredibility or strangeness beyond belief.

a fantastic world inhabited by monsters

When is imaginary a more appropriate choice than fanciful?

The synonyms imaginary and fanciful are sometimes interchangeable, but imaginary applies to something which is fictitious and purely the product of one's imagination.

an imaginary desert isle

Where would quixotic be a reasonable alternative to fanciful?

The words quixotic and fanciful are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, quixotic implies a devotion to romantic or chivalrous ideals unrestrained by ordinary prudence and common sense.

a quixotic crusade

In what contexts can visionary take the place of fanciful?

The words visionary and fanciful can be used in similar contexts, but visionary stresses impracticality or incapability of realization.

visionary schemes

Thesaurus Entries Near fanciful

Cite this Entry

“Fanciful.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

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