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[fan-tas-tik] /fænˈtæs tɪk/
conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination; odd and remarkable; bizarre; grotesque:
fantastic rock formations; fantastic designs.
fanciful or capricious, as persons or their ideas or actions:
We never know what that fantastic creature will say next.
imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish or irrational:
fantastic fears.
extravagantly fanciful; marvelous.
incredibly great or extreme; exorbitant:
to spend fantastic sums of money.
highly unrealistic or impractical; outlandish:
a fantastic scheme to make a million dollars betting on horse races.
Informal. extraordinarily good:
a fantastic musical.
Also, fantastical.
Origin of fantastic
1350-1400; Middle English fantastik pertaining to the imaginative faculty < Medieval Latin fantasticus, variant of Late Latin phantasticus < Greek phantastikós able to present or show (to the mind), equivalent to *phantad-, base of phantázein to make visible (akin to phānós light, bright, phaínein to make appear) + -tikos -tic
Related forms
fantastically, adverb
fantasticalness, fantasticality, noun
superfantastic, adjective
superfantastically, adverb
unfantastic, adjective
unfantastically, adverb
1. Fantastic, bizarre, grotesque, weird share a sense of deviation from what is normal or expected. Fantastic suggests a wild lack of restraint, a fancifulness so extreme as to lose touch with reality: a fantastic scheme for a series of space cities. In informal use, fantastic often means simply “exceptionally good”: a fantastic meal. Bizarre means markedly unusual or extraordinarily strange, sometimes whimsically so: bizarre costumes for Mardi Gras; bizarre behavior. Grotesque implies shocking distortion or incongruity, sometimes ludicrous, more often pitiful or tragic: a grotesque mixture of human and animal features; grotesque contrast between the forced smile and sad eyes: a gnarled tree suggesting the figure of a grotesque human being. Weird refers to that which is mysterious and apparently outside natural law, hence supernatural or uncanny: the weird adventures of a group lost in the jungle; a weird and ghostly apparition. Informally, weird means “very strange”: weird and wacky costumes; weird sense of humor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fantastic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Here it is the fantastic and the bizarre that hold the imagination captive.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • From it, a thousand wild, illogical, and fantastic conclusions are drawn.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • He was beginning to be disagreeably impressed by her fantastic behaviour.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • It had a physiognomy and character of its own—this fantastic foreigner!

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • To-day this appears to the majority of educated men a fantastic conception.

    Albert Durer T. Sturge Moore
British Dictionary definitions for fantastic


strange, weird, or fanciful in appearance, conception, etc
created in the mind; illusory
extravagantly fanciful; unrealistic: fantastic plans
incredible or preposterous; absurd: a fantastic verdict
(informal) very large or extreme; great: a fantastic fortune, he suffered fantastic pain
(informal) very good; excellent
of, given to, or characterized by fantasy
not constant; capricious; fitful: given to fantastic moods
(archaic) a person who dresses or behaves eccentrically
Derived Forms
fantasticality, fantasticalness, noun
Word Origin
C14 fantastik imaginary, via Late Latin from Greek phantastikos capable of imagining, from phantazein to make visible
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fantastic

late 14c., "existing only in imagination," from Middle French fantastique (14c.), from Medieval Latin fantasticus, from Late Latin phantasticus "imaginary," from Greek phantastikos "able to imagine," from phantazein "make visible" (middle voice phantazesthai "picture to oneself"); see phantasm. Trivial sense of "wonderful, marvelous" recorded by 1938.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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