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[fan-tuh-see, -zee] /ˈfæn tə si, -zi/
noun, plural fantasies.
imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained.
the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.
a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic; vision:
a nightmare fantasy.
Psychology. an imagined or conjured up sequence fulfilling a psychological need; daydream.
a hallucination.
a supposition based on no solid foundation; visionary idea; illusion:
dreams of Utopias and similar fantasies.
caprice; whim.
an ingenious or fanciful thought, design, or invention.
Also, fantasia. Literature. an imaginative or fanciful work, especially one dealing with supernatural or unnatural events or characters:
The stories of Poe are fantasies of horror.
Music. fantasia (def 1).
noting or relating to any of various games or leagues in which fans assemble players of a professional sport into imaginary teams, and points are scored based on the performance of these players in real games:
fantasy football; fantasy sports.
verb (used with or without object), fantasied, fantasying.
to form mental images; imagine; fantasize.
Rare. to write or play fantasias.
Sometimes, phantasy.
Origin of fantasy
1275-1325; Middle English fantasie imaginative faculty, mental image (< Anglo-French, Old French) < Latin phantasia < Greek phantasía an idea, notion, image, literally, a making visible; see fantastic, -y3
Related forms
nonfantasy, noun, plural nonfantasies.
1. See fancy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fantasy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The journal in question attributes with good reason this fantasy to sadism.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Oh, yes, these fantasy movies—we're a little worried about them.

    Reel Life Films Samuel Kimball Merwin
  • He fancied he saw her now, not as the heroine of his fantasy, but just as she was.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • Howbeit, the following deserves a place as the tail-flounce of his fantasy.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • He went on with that fantasy, but at this point Kate ceased to attend.

British Dictionary definitions for fantasy


noun (pl) -sies
  1. imagination unrestricted by reality
  2. (as modifier): a fantasy world
a creation of the imagination, esp a weird or bizarre one
  1. a series of pleasing mental images, usually serving to fulfil a need not gratified in reality
  2. the activity of forming such images
a whimsical or far-fetched notion
an illusion, hallucination, or phantom
a highly elaborate imaginative design or creation
(music) another word for fantasia, fancy (sense 13) (rarely) development (sense 5)
  1. literature having a large fantasy content
  2. a prose or dramatic composition of this type
(modifier) of or relating to a competition, often in a newspaper, in which a participant selects players for an imaginary ideal team, and points are awarded according to the actual performances of the chosen players: fantasy football
verb -sies, -sying, -sied
a less common word for fantasize
Word Origin
C14 fantasie, from Latin phantasia, from Greek 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 fantasy

early 14c., "illusory appearance," from Old French fantaisie (14c.) "vision, imagination," from Latin phantasia, from Greek phantasia "appearance, image, perception, imagination," from phantazesthai "picture to oneself," from phantos "visible," from phainesthai "appear," in late Greek "to imagine, have visions," related to phaos, phos "light," phainein "to show, to bring to light" (see phantasm). Sense of "whimsical notion, illusion" is pre-1400, followed by that of "imagination," which is first attested 1530s. Sense of "day-dream based on desires" is from 1926.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fantasy in Medicine

fantasy fan·ta·sy (fān'tə-sē, -zē)
Imagery that is more or less coherent, as in dreams and daydreams, yet unrestricted by reality. Also called phantasia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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