- 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 fancy
They're also proof that no matter how fancy you are, you can't escape the urge to watch two girls make out.High-End Pervs Film Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon Sucking Face
December 11, 2014
To get the product from manufacturer to arm, the product is lyophilized (a fancy word for freeze dried).Powdered Measles Vaccine Could Be Huge for Developing World
December 2, 2014
This fancy spice pack pairs with four different spirits—vodka, tequila, aquavit, and gin—to ensure the perfect morning pick-me-up.The Daily Beast’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Don Draper in Your Life
November 29, 2014
I fancy Holmes would have destroyed those theories with nothing more than his intuition.Sherlock Holmes Vs. Jack the Ripper
November 16, 2014
Yet her work is all heart, her flights of fancy rich with nostalgia without being mawkish.The Singular Artist of New Yorkistan
November 14, 2014
I fancy, now, there's not a good waiter this side of New York.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
If he had engaged himself to a handsome schoolmistress, it was his fancy, and he could afford it.
She shook her head and the fancy cleared away, and then others came.
"But you forget where we are," answered the Man of Fancy, who overheard the remark.A Select Party (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
But, I fancy, it is many, many years ago since he was bashful.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
- 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 fancy
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.