- imagination or fantasy, especially as exercised in a capricious manner.
- the artistic ability of creating unreal or whimsical imagery, decorative detail, etc., as in poetry or drawing.
- a mental image or conception: He had happy fancies of being a famous actor.
- an idea or opinion with little foundation; illusion: Her belief that she can sing is a mere fancy.
- a caprice; whim; vagary: It was his fancy to fly to Paris occasionally for dinner.
- capricious preference; inclination; a liking: to take a fancy to walking barefoot in the streets.
- critical judgment; taste.
- the breeding of animals to develop points of beauty or excellence.
- the fancy, Archaic. people deeply interested in a sport, art, etc.
- made, designed, grown, adapted, etc., to please the taste or fancy; of superfine quality or exceptional appeal: fancy goods; fancy fruits.
- ornamental; decorative; not plain: a cake with a fancy icing.
- depending on imagination or caprice; whimsical; irregular: a fancy conception of time.
- bred to develop points of beauty or excellence, as an animal.
- much too costly; exorbitant or extravagant: a consultant who charges fancy fees.
- to form a conception of; picture to oneself: Fancy living with that egotist all your life!
- to believe without being absolutely sure or certain: I fancy you are my new neighbor.
- to take a liking to; like.
- to breed to develop a special type of animal.
- (used as an exclamation of mild surprise): They invited you, too? Fancy!
- fancy up, to make superficially showy by way of improvement: an old car fancied up with a bright new paint job.
Origin of fancy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fancies
Gulnara attended Harvard; she fancies herself an artist of many talents.Gulnara Karimova’s Tweets Hint at Uzbek Power Struggle
November 22, 2013
The mountain resort town of Dalat fancies itself “The Paris of Vietnam,” complete with a replica Eiffel Tower in the center.Book a Room at Vietnam’s ‘Crazy House’
July 11, 2013
Eli fancies himself a bong-wielding Holden Caulfield in a bathrobe.Must Reads: Kennedy, Sontag and Paris, ‘A Partial History of Lost Causes,’ ‘City of Bohane,’ ‘Flatscreen’
Lauren Elkin, Mythili Rao, Drew Toal, Nicholas Mancusi
April 6, 2012
Be willing to act on whims, fancies and, yes, fantasies, too.Horoscopes: The Week of April 3
Starsky + Cox
April 3, 2011
He fancies an American actor named Barrymore, but Barrymore, a prodigious drunk, soon storms back to Los Angeles.Stoker Family Values
October 30, 2009
He was full of dreams and fancies, all of the higher order of things where love is the law.Weighed and Wanting
Shakespeare, one fancies, was a gentleman by nature, and a good deal more.The Man Shakespeare
But, niece, it is not making too much fun of him to fall in with his fancies.The Imaginary Invalid
In the making of fancies and jests he sees a chance of delay.De Profundis
She had thus a double being, although she was alone with her fancies.The Dream
- not plain; ornamented or decorativea fancy cake; fancy clothes
- requiring skill to perform; intricatea fancy dance routine
- arising in the imagination; capricious or illusory
- (often used ironically) superior in quality or impressivea fancy course in business administration
- higher than expectedfancy prices
- (of a domestic animal) bred for particular qualities
- a sudden capricious idea; whim
- a sudden or irrational liking for a person or thing
- the power to conceive and represent decorative and novel imagery, esp in poetry. Fancy was held by Coleridge to be more casual and superficial than imaginationSee imagination (def. 4)
- an idea or thing produced by this
- a mental image
- taste or judgment, as in art of dress
- Also called: fantasy, fantasia music a composition for solo lute, keyboard, etc, current during the 16th and 17th centuries
- the fancy archaic those who follow a particular sport, esp prize fighting
- to picture in the imagination
- to suppose; imagineI fancy it will rain
- (often used with a negative) to likeI don't fancy your chances!
- (reflexive) to have a high or ill-founded opinion of oneselfhe fancied himself as a doctor
- informal to have a wish for; desireshe fancied some chocolate
- British informal to be physically attracted to (another person)
- to breed (animals) for particular characteristics
- Also: fancy that! an exclamation of surprise or disbelief
Word Origin and History for fancies
mid-15c., contraction of fantasy, it took the older and longer word's sense of "inclination, whim, desire." Meaning "fans of an amusement or sport, collectively" is attested by 1735, especially (though not originally) of the prize ring. The adjective is recorded from mid-18c.