Synonyms & Antonyms of visionary

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 having or marked by a tendency to be guided more by ideals than by reality
  • a visionary plan for a manned flight to Mars even though there are pressing problems right here on earth

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3 having or showing awareness of and preparation for the future
  • in a visionary move, the developer bought large tracts of the waterfront just before property values skyrocketed

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Synonyms & Antonyms of visionary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 one who predicts future events or developments
  • according to Greek myth, Cassandra was a visionary who was endowed with the gift of inerrant prophecy but fated to never be believed

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2 one whose conduct is guided more by the image of perfection than by the real world
  • 19th-century visionaries who founded short-lived communities in which everyone was supposed to live in perfect peace and harmony

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Frequently Asked Questions About visionary

How does the adjective visionary contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of visionary are chimerical, fanciful, fantastic, imaginary, and quixotic. While all these words mean "unreal or unbelievable," visionary stresses impracticality or incapability of realization.

visionary schemes

How is chimerical related to other words for visionary?

Chimerical combines the implication of visionary and fantastic.

chimerical dreams of future progress

When might fanciful be a better fit than visionary?

In some situations, the words fanciful and visionary are roughly equivalent. However, fanciful suggests the free play of the imagination.

a teller of fanciful stories

When can fantastic be used instead of visionary?

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

a fantastic world inhabited by monsters

When is imaginary a more appropriate choice than visionary?

Although the words imaginary and visionary have much in common, imaginary applies to something which is fictitious and purely the product of one's imagination.

an imaginary desert isle

When could quixotic be used to replace visionary?

While in some cases nearly identical to visionary, quixotic implies a devotion to romantic or chivalrous ideals unrestrained by ordinary prudence and common sense.

a quixotic crusade

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Time Traveler for visionary

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The first known use of visionary was in 1648

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Cite this Entry

“Visionary.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on visionary

Nglish: Translation of visionary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of visionary for Arabic Speakers


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