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fanciful

[fan-si-fuhl]
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adjective
  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.
  3. led by fancy rather than by reason and experience; whimsical: a fanciful mind.
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Origin of fanciful

First recorded in 1620–30; fancy + -ful
Related formsfan·ci·ful·ly, adverbfan·ci·ful·ness, nouno·ver·fan·ci·ful, adjectiveo·ver·fan·ci·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·fan·ci·ful·ness, nounun·fan·ci·ful, adjective

Synonyms

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

whimsicalimaginativefantasticfantasticalfictionalpreposterousoffbeatunrealextravagantabsurdbizarreaerialcapriciouschimericalcuriousfabulousfictitiousflakyfloatingideal

Examples from the Web for fanciful

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The fable is fanciful and pleasing in itself; but will it not hereafter be believed as reality?

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • The thing was incomprehensible to Tip, and altogether a fanciful notion.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He found, when he looked up, that this sensation was not a fanciful one.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He did not like to offer her money, but a pretty, fanciful idea occurred to him.

  • We must separate the fanciful from the real, or at least make the one subservient to the other.


British Dictionary definitions for fanciful

fanciful

adjective
  1. not based on fact; dubious or imaginaryfanciful 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 Formsfancifully, adverbfancifulness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for fanciful

adj.

1620s, from fancy (n.) + -ful. Related: Fancifully.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper