- an apparition or specter.
- a creation of the imagination or fancy; fantasy.
- a mental image or representation of a real object.
- an illusory likeness of something.
Origin of phantasm
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for phantasm
It may have been but a phantasm, born of her own fevered imagination.All Roads Lead to Calvary
Jerome K. Jerome
It is a phantasm which has little or no connection with fact.Folkways
William Graham Sumner
Yet, that experience had the sharpness of fact; while this had only the vagueness of a phantasm.The Millionaire Baby
Anna Katharine Green
Then no exaggeration was too absurd for him, no phantasm too unreal, no climax too extreme.Mark Twain
Perhaps this is true—the world a phantasm and our minds fooling us.The Meaning of Faith
Harry Emerson Fosdick
- a phantom
- an illusory perception of an object, person, etc
- (in the philosophy of Plato) objective reality as distorted by perception
Word Origin and History for phantasm
early 13c., fantesme, from Old French fantosme "a dream, illusion, fantasy; apparition, ghost, phantom" (12c.), and directly from Latin phantasma "an apparition, specter," from Greek phantasma "image, phantom, apparition; mere image, unreality," from phantazein "to make visible, display," from stem of phainein "to bring to light, make appear; come to light, be seen, appear; explain, expound, inform against; appear to be so," from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine" (cf. Sanskrit bhati "shines, glitters," Old Irish ban "white, light, ray of light"). Spelling conformed to Latin from 16c. (see ph). A spelling variant of phantom, "differentiated, but so that the differences are elusive" [Fowler].
- Something apparently seen but having no physical reality; an apparition.
- An illusory mental image.