View synonyms for fanciful


[ fan-si-fuhl ]


  1. characterized by or showing fancy; capricious or whimsical in appearance:

    a fanciful design of butterflies and flowers.

  2. suggested by fancy; imaginary; unreal:

    fanciful lands of romance.

    Synonyms: illusory, baseless, visionary

  3. led by fancy rather than by reason and experience; whimsical:

    a fanciful mind.


/ ˈfænsɪfʊl /


  1. not based on fact; dubious or imaginary

    fanciful notions

  2. made or designed in a curious, intricate, or imaginative way
  3. indulging in or influenced by fancy; whimsical

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Derived Forms

  • ˈfancifully, adverb
  • ˈfancifulness, noun

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Other Words From

  • fanci·ful·ly adverb
  • fanci·ful·ness noun
  • over·fanci·ful adjective
  • over·fanci·ful·ly adverb
  • over·fanci·ful·ness noun
  • un·fanci·ful adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fanciful1

First recorded in 1620–30; fancy + -ful

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Example Sentences

It is particularly pronounced in a fanciful 1835 wallpaper design, from France, that included the bridge and Niagara Falls, geologically connected with a horse-drawn streetcar offering views of both.

The colors can be fanciful, notably in renderings of bright-blue cows and night scenes whose reds are too hot to have been elicited by moonlight.

Meanwhile, Oyamel’s annual Tequila & Mezcal Festival is running through March 14, with its fanfare of a limited-time food menu, events, and of course, fanciful tequila and agave-based drinks.

Bobble hats were originally created to protect and pad sailor’s heads though now their primary function is fanciful fun.

As fanciful as that idea may sound, there are, it turns out, reasons for hope.

From Vox

Precision was usually valued by the creators of maps now prized for their seemingly fanciful flaws.

But such primitive and fanciful ideas are just the skin on top of hot milk.

The characters struck me as fanciful, and the plot was contrived.

Expect some fanciful linguistic contortions when asked whether or not this is, in fact, a “coup?”

The fanciful assertion that nation states lessen it is unlikely to convince a Russian or Chinese dissident, or Tibetan.

Another time she might have smiled at the thought as fanciful: it seemed awfully real now.

Orellana was very warmly received by armed swift-footed females, which originated the fanciful name Amazonia.

Fordun, like his compatriots, colours his narrative deeply with the fanciful glow of Bruce's patriotism.

"Yes," Amy said, selecting a pair of white satin slippers, with high French heels and fanciful rosettes.

The jealousy of commerce, however, is as fanciful and unreasonable as the jealousy of love.