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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 fantastical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I relate these fantastical ideas only to show their absurdity.

    The Phantom World Augustin Calmet
  • All The viands in their gravy's wine Grow lurid and fantastical.

  • The wife of Socrates, Xanthippe, was a woman of a most fantastical and furious spirit.

    How to Succeed Orison Swett Marden
  • It looked like some fantastical tavern in a dream, and not a thing of real timber.

    Marjorie Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • Miss Melman was a complete coquette, capricious and fantastical.

British Dictionary definitions for fantastical


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 fantastical

late 15c., from fantastic + -al (1). Related: Fantastically.



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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